There’s no doubt that the past month or so has been hugely dispiriting for fans of West Ham United. From the brink of the top four to no wins in six, this has been woeful.
However, there was some good news on Monday which will surely have supporters of the east London outfit jumping for joy. Reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh reported that injured winger Michail Antonio is hoping to rejoin first team training in the next few days.
That is genuinely a massive boost for manager Manuel Pellegrini and his struggling side. What’s been the biggest problem for the Irons of late? Lack of production from their attacking midfielders.
While Antonio won’t magically fix the form of the likes of Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini, he will come into the team and produce hard-working, impactful performances, as well as providing that longed-for link between the midfield and star striker Sebastien Haller.
The Frenchman has become increasingly isolated in recent weeks. Antonio, though, is an ideal link-man, someone capable of playing on the wings or as a second striker just off the former Eintracht Frankfurt man.
The statistics from this Premier League season, albeit only one start in Antonio’s case, demonstrate the directness and the attacking threat that the 29-year-old provides.
As per WhoScored.com, in just one start and two substitute appearances, the Englishman is averaging 1.7 shots, 0.7 key passes and one successful dribble per game.
Those are numbers that are only going to increase as he gets more game time. We don’t want to put too much weight on his shoulders coming off a serious injury, but he is desperately needed at the moment. That’s why this latest report is such phenomenal news for the club.