View: West Ham must be cautious with talisman Antonio
Whilst most of the West Ham squad are coming to the end of their relaxing winter breaks, Michail Antonio was in action once again for Jamaica.
The striker has played three games in the last six days for his national side, something the Hammers could do without.
With no new signings in the January transfer market the 31-year-old is more important than ever for David Moyes’ side.
Antonio has taken up international football at the wrong time from a club perspective.
His delayed flurry in form in his career saw the Hammer make a late entrance onto the international stage – making his Jamaica debut in September of 2021.
Normally, a club wouldn’t be solely reliant on a player aged 31 as their striker but unfortunately, the Irons are which makes situations like this painful.
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The Reggae Boyz didn’t even win a single game in any of their three World Cup qualifiers which is even more painful as Antonio could have just stayed at home – if anyone deserves a rest, it’s him!
Time for business
Considering the great position the club find themselves in combined with how weak the squad is, it is genuinely very surprising that David Sullivan and co didn’t strengthen in January.
They may have had a last-minute dip into the market, but West Ham aren’t making last-ditch signings anymore, the transfer structure has to be much better if the club wants to take it to the next level.
Moyes has come out and said that Jarrod Bowen is an option to offer Antonio some respite up top but that should only be exercised in an emergency.
Why would you move our best player this season out of position if it wasn’t necessary? Yes, he can probably play up front if needed but he is hardly a backup in the striker position.
The sad reality is Antonio has no support for the remainder of the season and his presence is absolutely vital.
The Irons can’t afford Antonio to miss a single game, so he and the club have to be extra careful from now until the end of the season.
Hopefully he stays fit.
In other Hammers news, West Ham boss Moyes shares ‘really exciting’ second half of season message.