Despite being a record goal scorer and mainstay in East London for over 7 years, it appears Michail Antonio’s days at West Ham are drawing to a close.
The Hammers number 9 has been a key figure at the club since his arrival to the East End from Nottingham Forest in 2015, with many wondering at the time whether he would make the step up to Premier League level having seen a meteoric rise from non-league football just a few years prior.
In 2008, Antonio was given his break with Reading signing the powerful forward from Tooting & Mitcham – and his rise to the very top level of football continued thereon in.
Loans spells and then moves to Sheffield Wednesday and Forest were steps towards finally landing his big move to the top, when Slaven Bilic made Michail one of his key summer signings on what was a famous Farewell Boleyn campaign with the Hammers winger at the time playing a key role with the cub finishing 7th.
Ever since, Antonio has been a big figure at West Ham, providing many memorable moments, most notably becoming the clubs Premier League record goal scorer last season, in a commanding 4-1 victory over Leicester City at London Stadium.
As fans are well too aware now, last season is a lifetime ago, with the good times feeling like a distant memory with West Ham now fighting for Premier League survival – and Antonio’s commanding performances and enjoyment seem to be long gone too.
His form has been a concern for some time now but more alarmingly his attitude too is now being called into question, with the body language demonstrated in the 1-0 loss to Wolves at the weekend showing a player desperate to get out of the club.
It appears his role now being a more impact sub rather than first-starter when Gianluca Scamacca is fit has irked Antonio, but many have to question whether he ha the stats to support a player that should be considered West Hams number 1 choice to lead the line.
The fall of our number 9 in recent months has prompted many question marks over his long-term future at West Ham, and it appears the club could now be very much open to letting him leave the club if the right replacement can be found.
It has been revealed by ExWHUEmployee that the club are in the market now for a new striker – pretty much all confirming that if a target can be landed then Antonio will be granted a move away to pull the curtain on a special player for West Ham and one that will always be remembered fondly.
His destination however is one that could be an issue for the club, with both Everton and Wolves both very interested in the Hammers forward. A move to effectively strengthen a relegation rival would be seen as a huge gamble. Whether it is one we take in the next fortnight remains to be seen.