Antony returns to Man Utd squad for Champions League after five-match absence

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has recalled winger Antony to a matchday squad for the first time since allegations of assault were made against him. He is named among the subs for the Champions League clash with Turkish side Galatasaray, which takes place at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Brazil international was removed from the Selecao squad in September and put on a “period of absence” by United, during which time he did not train or play with the team.

That came after an accusation of aggresion towards a former girlfriend, with two further women then soon following with their own reports of sustaining injuries through incidents with Antony.

He arrived back in the UK last week to face police questioning over the allegations of abuse and violence towards women and agreed to hand his phone to Greater Manchester Police to aid investigations.

Antony has maintained his innocence regarding the matter throughout, saying his absence was “a mutual decision to avoid distraction to my teammates and unnecessary controversy for the club. I want to reiterate my innocence of the things I have been accused of, and I will fully cooperate with the police to help them reach the truth.”

Since then he has missed five matches: Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace in the league, Palace again in the EFL Cup and United’s opening Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich.

The Red Devils won two and lost three of games, amid a wider poor start from Ten Hag’s team.

Meanwhile, the manager has insisted that the Brazilian’s return to the squad will not prove a “distraction” and that he would be selected according to fitness.