By Nnamdi Onyeagwara

4th Aug, 2022 | 11:10pm

West Ham striker Antonio admits disappointment in Lingard decision

West Ham striker Michail Antonio has admitted that he was disappointed that Jesse Lingard did not rejoin the club this summer.

The England international snubbed a return to the London Stadium in favour of signing a one-year deal with Nottingham Forest. [Sky Sports]

Antonio has now revealed how he felt when he found out that Lingard would not be returning to London on the BBCs Footballer’s Football Podcast.

He said: “I definitely was disappointed because he was quality for us, a really massive player.

“He helped push us and he was one of the reasons why we did finish in Europe.

“We were looking forward to him coming back and he was a player who we definitely need right now in our squad.

The Jamaica international also stated that maybe added competition at West Ham may have played a part in Lingard’s decision.

He added: “I just put it down to he wanted to go somewhere where he can play week in, week out.

“At West Ham, there’s loads of competition.

“So he might have thought he might not get as much game time at West Ham or he decided that Forest was better suited for him as it was closer to home.

“But the fact that we didn’t get him and Forest did is… it’s a great signing for Forest.”

Disappointing for West Ham

It is a shame that Lingard did not return to London, as he was phenomenal in his six-month stay at the London Stadium in 2021.

The England international joined the London club in January 2021 and as soon as he stepped foot in the capital, seemed to lift the whole club.

He made 16 appearances and scored nine goals and provided five assists during that time, recording a scintillating rate of a goal contribution every 1.1 games.

His form helped the Hammers earn a spot in the Europa League for the following season and helped Lingard regain his place in the England team.

The former Manchester United midfielder’s decision to join the newly-promoted Forest over West Ham did leave some scratching their heads.

However, West Ham will still feel optimistic for the upcoming season with the transfer business they have conducted so far and are still yet to do.

In other West Ham news, the club are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Maxwel Cornet.