By Tim Fadipe
Incoming Everton boss Sean Dyche has been instructed by Martin Keown to look towards West Ham United’s Michail Antonio as a replacement for Anthony Gordon.
Newcastle are in negotiations to sign Gordon [Guardian] and it looks as though the Evertonian may be trying to push through the transfer having been absent from training the last three days.
Antonio has failed to capture the form that catapulted West Ham to a top-half finish last season and a change of scenery may suit both parties.
Speaking on talkSPORT on Friday (27 January), as quoted by the radio station’s website, ex-Everton and Arsenal player Keown said: “I think Sean Dyche sitting down with the players, we talked about this before, meeting the players, finding out what is going on, ‘What character have I got in front of me? Is it bad? Can we repair the damage? Okay, no’.
“Right, Antonio might be available at West Ham. There are options, let’s get him.
“I don’t know how Dyche works, he is not that prolific in the transfer market. Having said that, this is a different club, this is Everton now.
“So maybe it is, maybe his first step is to spend some of that money and get the player out.
“So a lot of thinking to do for the manager and immediately you have got to get to work quickly.
“One assumes that he had one eye on the job and the team for the last number of weeks.”
Having only netted twice in the league this season, Antonio hasn’t been able to replicate the form of recent years, however, this would represent a shrewd piece of business by Everton in an attempt to turn around what can only be described as a dismal season.
The Toffees are currently languishing down in 19th place in the league and are firmly in a deep relegation battle. They have only managed to find the back of the net 15 times this season so clearly, some attacking reinforcements are needed. Despite Antonio having only scored twice in the league, this would still place him joint third in the Everton squad level with Dwight McNeil.
Despite not playing his best football this term, Antonio has reached double digits in the league in the last three seasons and has proven himself to be a handful for defenders to play against. The summer arrival of Gianluca Scamacca has relegated him to a bench role so the possibility of moving on to play first-team football may appeal to the Jamaican international.
Dyche will no doubt want to stamp his fingerprints on this Everton that is clearly lacking an identity right now. With Antonio comes a hard-working, willing runner and physical specimen to spearhead the attack. Such qualities have often been associated with Dyche and a partnership with a new team and manager could be what Antonio needs to reinvigorate himself.