Erik ten Hag has received a barrage of criticism this season for consistently sticking with Brazilian winger Antony, despite the forward’s struggles.

The winger, who United spent £85 million on last summer, has struggled with performing consistently on the right and there have been calls for Jadon Sancho to replace him.

However, the recent fallout involving Sancho may well have proved the Dutchman right in this scenario.

Sancho is seemingly on borrowed time at Old Trafford as his performances in training have not matched Ten Hag’s high standards and, as a result, he was left out of the travelling squad at the Emirates.

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United: Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
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Antony’s performance

The Brazilian, certainly defensively, was superb on the right for United. He often tracked back to help out with Aaron Wan-Bissaka against Gabriel Martinelli and the Red Devils looked solid on that side of the pitch.

Antony has received criticism for his attacking play or lack thereof this season but the defensive side of his game has been superb.

If Sancho had started the game for United in place of Antony, it seems unlikely that the Red Devils would have gotten the same defensive cover from the English winger as they did from the Brazilian.

Ten Hag has been proven right

There has been criticism from some corners of the United fanbase around the treatment of Sancho but the simple fact is, Antony may not be the best going forward but defensively, especially in a game like that, his qualities are needed.

Sancho may well have to move away from the club in the summer as it seems his chances will be limited with there being a plethora of options on either side at Ten Hag’s disposal.

These past 24 hours, however, have proven that Ten Hag has been right to stick with Antony over the £73 million former Borussia Dortmund winger.

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