Erik ten Hag believes Antony can become Manchester United’s version of Arjen Robben

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Erik ten Hag believes Antony can become Manchester United’s version of Arjen Robben after the Brazilian scored one and made the other in a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest.

Antony’s displays have come under fierce scrutiny since his £85million move from Ajax last summer but he showed how effective he could be at the City Ground to keep United’s top-four bid rolling nicely. He struck the opener before the break and created the second for Diogo Dalot after the interval.

One of the criticisms of Antony is that he relies too much on his left foot. But Ten Hag pointed out that his fellow Dutchman Robben, who shone for Bayern Munich for 10 years, turned a similar weakness into a strength.

‘I’ve seen Arjen Robben a lot,’ said Ten Hag. ‘They say he has only one trick that one trick was so brilliant no one can stop it. We have to emphasise, of course, if you can go both ways you have more variations, you are more difficult to stop.

‘He knows that when you are a striker, you need end product but he already has eight goals in all competitions this season. There is only a split moment where you have to take that decision. He has to step up. Today was an example where, with both goals, he made the right decision.’

Ten Hag was also full of praise for Christian Eriksen, who was drafted in as a late replacement for Marcel Sabitzer, who was forced to pull out shortly before kick-off.

It was the Dane’s first start since January after recovering from an ankle injury but he played as though he had never been away.

Ten Hag added: ‘He has natural talent. Everything is so smooth with him. He has so many skills and game understanding. He would not have started if Marcel hadn’t dropped out but when you bring on Christian it’s not a disadvantage for your team and he proved it.’

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