By Nick Ware

15th Aug, 2021 | 5:00pm

Graeme Souness and Micah Richards laud Michail Antonio after West Ham win v Newcastle United

Graeme Souness and Micah Richards were full of praise for Michail Antonio after West Ham beat Newcastle United 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.

David Moyes’ side eventually overcame the Magpies at St James Park after being behind on two separate occasions.

Antonio supplied the assist for Jarrod Bowen’s goal in the second half, and speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Souness detailed his admiration for the 31-year-old’s efforts.

“Antonio stretches to keep the ball alive and does brilliantly,” Souness said. “He’s on the touchline and somehow gets his foot around it and Bowen is there to put the ball in the net.”

After showing Antonio’s goal for West Ham’s fourth and final goal, Richards added: “This is brilliant. He wants the number nine shirt and this is why. He was absolutely everywhere today. Look at the intelligence of the run.

“He’s such an intelligent player. He’s known for his pace and power but there his movement and the way he’s thinking about the game, brilliant.”

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One of the best

Antonio further cemented his status as one of the Premier League’s most complete centre-forwards against Newcastle on Sunday.

He may not spring to mind straight away when discussing the elite strikers in the division, but he deserves to be mentioned among the best.

The Englishman played a direct hand in 15 goals in just 26 Premier League appearances last season, and his direct style of play creates chaos in opposition defences.

That was on display yet again on Sunday as he tormented the Newcastle defence en route to picking up the Sky Sports Man of the Match award.

As Richards said, perhaps Antonio’s sheer pace and power sometimes means his technical talents get overlooked, but he showed he has it all after his goal and assist on Tyneside.

In other West Ham news, the club have made an approach to sign this ex-Irons trialist from a Premier League rival.

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