Erik ten Hag speaks out on Antony’s return to Manchester United amid domestic abuse allegations
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken out about the decision to reintegrate Antony back into the squad amid the domestic abuse allegations against him. Antony was named on the bench for United’s Champions League clash against Galatasaray on Tuesday night, the first time he has been included in a match day squad for nearly a month after being placed on a leave of absence to deal with the allegations.
The winger’s former partner, Gabriela Cavallin, has alleged that she has been physically attacked by the 23-year-old on multiple occasions during their time together in Manchester and in their native Brazil. Last Friday, United announced that Antony, who denies the accusations, could return to training and was available for selection while ‘police inquiries proceed’.
Ten Hag defends decision to bring Antony back
Ten Hag suggested in his pre-match press conference that the player may feature against Galatasaray and defended his decision to bring him back to the first-team. He doubled down on these comments ahead of kick-off, telling TNT Sports: ‘Of course, our minds were with him and of course also the allegations. You think about it. We took them very serious, but we took the leave of absence to deal with this and he was fully co-operative with the police in Brazil and in Manchester. He’s not accused, so he’s available.’
Team selection for Galatasaray clash
Ten Hag has made just one change to the side that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace over the weekend, with Hannibal Mejbri replacing Facundo Pellistri. ‘Hannibal is a young player, he is not able to play three times in one week. He’s not that experienced,’ the manager added. ‘He’ll bring energy. We want to manage that energy, so we have to manage the squad. I’m not used to it but you still what to have the best team always and from a technical approach he fits in very well today.’
Police investigations ongoing
The police investigations into the domestic abuse allegations against Antony are ongoing, and Manchester United have said they will continue to cooperate fully with authorities. Ten Hag’s decision to bring Antony back into the team has been met with criticism, but it appears that the player is set to remain part of the squad until the investigations are concluded.
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