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    Saturday, May 21, 2022

    Barcelona, Manchester United Send £200m Warning as Liverpool Transfer Links Grow

    Ajax’s Antony has had a highly productive season. The Brazilian winger had his breakout season in 2020/21 with the Dutch side, and this campaign has seen him go from strength to strength under incoming Manchester United manager Erik Hen Tag.

    Antony’s form has seen him linked with a host of clubs across Europe, and Liverpool are no exception to the rule. The Reds have been connected with Anthony on and off this season, and it’s been reported that a fee northwards of £30m will be enough for the Dutch side to sell the player.

    Ajax signed Antony for £18m just two years ago, so it’s likely that they will be able to make a substantial profit on the winger.

    But should Liverpool make a move for the Brazilian, or should the player even want to leave the club?

    As recent history has shown, it may not be such a smart decision for Antony to want to leave Ajax. Players who have sparkled under the Ajax system over the last several years have struggled when moving to side that don’t play in the same way.

    We’ve seen this with players from the 2019 side that reached the Champions League semi final. Matthijs de Ligt earned a massive move to Juventus, with the-then Italian champions paying around £67m to bring him to Turin.

    De Ligt has subsequently struggled at various times with a different brand of football and a different way of interpreting the game at Juve, and while he has improved immensely since his first season in Serie A, he is still culpable of giving away needless penalties and can get caught out of position on occasion.

    Frenkie de Jong was another who was cherry picked from the 2019 side, signed by Barcelona for £65m. The midfielder has also struggled away from the Ajax model, to such an extent now that his could be discarded this summer to bring in money the club needs to give Xavi the players he’s demanding to rebuild the club after a fairly few disastrous years.

    De Jong has, coincidentally, been linked with Liverpool and a move this summer. It seems very likely that Barca will offload the talented midfielder in what has been an ill-judged move for the midfield talent.

    The same could also be said for Chelsea attacker Hakim Ziyech (£33m). While a few years older than both De Ligt and De Jong, Ziyech has also struggled to hold down a regular place in Chelsea’s side as he arrived in the same summer as a myriad of other attackers following the lifting of Chelsea’s transfer ban. The Moroccan got lost in the shuffle and hasn’t come close to replicating the form he showed at Ajax.

    Donny van de Beek (£35m) is yet another who left Ajax for a bigger side and failed to kick on, with his move to Manchester United an unmitigated disaster.

    Antony would be wise to heed their advice and potentially stay where he is, at least for the foreseeable future. Moreover, it’s debatable whether Liverpool actually have any need for him now, given the sheer depth of attacking options Jürgen Klopp has at his disposal.

    Things may change in a year or two for The Reds, but Antony should perhaps appreciate that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Just ask De Ligt, De Jong, Ziyech and Van de Beek.

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