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Erik ten Hag excludes Manchester United ‘favourite’ from ‘dangerous’ front three



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Erik ten Hag blanked the Brazilian winger Antony when describing Manchester United’s ‘dangerous’ front three going forwards.

Antony, 23, has often been described as Erik ten Hag’s ‘favourite’ player. He has often been able to underperform and still get minutes and joined the club from Ten Hag’s Ajax in the same summer.

However, the Brazilian has struggled this term. He has zero goal contributions in the Premier League or Champions League.

Antony did score his first goal of the season on the weekend when United faced League Two outfit Newport County, but many are still questioning his credentials to play at the top level.

Interestingly, when discussing some of United’s key players, including a frontline which he describes as a ‘danger’, Ten Hag did not include the right-winger in his thoughts.

Instead, the Dutchman detailed the relationship between Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford blossoming, as well as the progress from Alejandro Garnacho.

“So as I said, you see the last two Premier League games, but also I think in the Wigan game, it was clear, and you see the progress between Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund, and, especially now, the team behind in the back is getting stronger and that’s growing,” he told reporters.

“That gives, I think, a good spirit and mood in the team because those two and also see the progress from [Alejandro] Garnacho was very positive. We have a frontline, I think it’s a danger and then, in the back, Bruno [Fernandes] and then the midfield, who is returning and getting more established.

“And then Luke Shaw, on the left side, is returning. So I think it’s much [more] positive, and I’m sure when it is more consistent and stable in the back, then the frontline will get benefit from it.”

Ten Hag played Garnacho, Højlund and Rashford as his front three in games against Tottenham Hotpsur and Wigan before Rashford’s situation led to him being out of the squad against Newport.

It seems clear that Ten Hag has a preference in the frontline at United and it does not include his ‘favourite’ player anymore.