West Ham attacker Michail Antonio has been a loyal servant to the club and has provided fans with plenty of fond memories.
However, while the versatile Hammers winger is a capable player and a great servant that doesn’t mean the club should rush to get him to sign a new deal.
Claret & Hugh reported on Wednesday that West Ham were ready to offer Antonio a new two-year deal, with an option to extend the contract further included, over the next few months.
The reliable Hammers website claimed the winger is now seen as a key player, which is a reason why a new deal is heading his way in the near future.
Yet what’s the rush?
The 29-year-old’s current deal doesn’t expire until 2021, as per Transfermarkt, so time isn’t working against the Hammers and when you consider Antonio is currently out injured, tieing him down to a new contract is a bit of gamble.
After all, this isn’t exactly the winger’s first injury.
Antonio has had more than his fair share of injuries, with hamstring injuries being a common occurrence, so the club should wait to see how he recovers from his current issue.
The 29-year-old spent 132 days on the sidelines with a hamstring in his 2017/18 season, as per Transfermarkt, and while he did recover from that issue to reguarly feature for Manuel Pellegrini in the 2018/19 campaign, it did take a while for him to get up to speed as well as get back to his best.
So it may take him a while to get back to his best following his current injury, and there’s always a chance he might not reach the same heights or he may succumb to another injury problem.
As you’ve just got to look at how previous hamstring injuries have occurred to know that’s a believable scenario.
Antonio may have done enough previously on the pitch to prove his worth to the club last season, he averaged a rating of 6.92 on WhoScored and was involved in 10 goals across his 33 outings, but with time left on his current deal, the Hammers should ensure he’s at that standard again once back fit rather than commit themselves too soon.