Heated footage shows when Antony punched Man Utd teammate Malacia during Eredivisie match

While Manchester United‘s crushing defeat away to rivals Liverpool has somewhat soured the mood at Old Trafford, that humbling 7-0 loss should not detract from what has been a largely positive campaign thus far under new boss Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman having swiftly ended the club’s six-year trophy drought.

A key facet to the Red Devils’ resurgence under the former Ajax head coach has been the impact of the signings that were brought in over the summer, with the likes of Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez having notably been ‘superb‘ in that Carabao Cup triumph over Newcastle United, according to Manchester Evening News journalist, Samuel Luckhurst.

One addition that has somewhat gone under the radar, however, is that of former Feyenoord ace, Tyrell Malacia, with the diminutive defender having made a quietly strong impression since his £14.7m switch back in July – becoming the first acquisition of the Ten Hag era in the process.

How much is Malacia worth now?

Just over eight months on from arriving through the door at the Theatre of Dreams, the 23-year-old full-back has already enjoyed a real rise as he is now valued at around 25m (£22m) according to CIES Football Observatory, with that representing an impressive 49% increase on his initial cost.

That soaring value has been more than merited amid Malacia’s solid displays at left-back so far this season, notably averaging 1.9 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game from his 15 Premier League appearances, while also winning a solid 63% of his aerial duels despite his 5 foot 7 frame.

A tenacious and committed presence in the backline, the Rotterdam native – who has been branded a “pitbull” by ex-Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal – also ranks in the top 9% among his European peers for tackles made and the top 19% for interceptions, proving a real relentless pest for any opposing winger.

That attitude is perhaps summed up adequately by assessing his time with Feyenoord where his fierce battles with Antony were a feature of the Eredivisie.

During a clash in December 2021 that saw the Brazilian come against his now Manchester United teammate, Malacia appeared to be smacked in the head during a dogged contest.

That came months before the two squared off again with the full-back this time coming out on top, making a number of crunching tackles on his opposite number.

Since then the pair have obviously become teammates with Ten Hag having only recently lauded his compatriot as the “best” in his squad for being able to operate as an inverted full-back, with that trait having allowed Malacia to push usual starter Luke Shaw for a regular role in the side so far, as well as working alongside the Englishman when Shaw has slotted in at centre-back.

Something of an unsung figure at times, Malacia was particularly impressive in the reverse meeting against Jurgen Klopp’s side back in August – producing a ‘vibrant display‘ in the words of 90min’s Grey Whitebloom – having also been “magnificent” in the more recent FA Cup win over West Ham United, according to Statman Dave.

Those are just two of the standout showings that the dynamic “machine” – as dubbed by Matej Kovar – has enjoyed in his relatively brief spell in Manchester to date, with such form even leading to comparisons to Patrice Evra from another club legend, Rio Ferdinand.

While Malacia does arguably need to improve on his end product – having yet to register a goal or an assist in 28 appearances in all competitions – and perhaps also iron out his relationship with Antony, it has certainly been an encouraging start to life in English football.

Indeed, Ten Hag has seemingly struck gold by securing his services.

Source link

Leave a Comment