Former England international Danny Mills has delivered a bold choice for West Ham United’s best player of the season so far.
“It’s a difficult one, West Ham are up and down, more down as of late,” he told Football Insider. “I also think up front as well, Antonio coming back into the side has done brilliantly.
“Sometimes you don’t realise how good a player he is until he isn’t in the side.”
That last sentence from Mills is the key one. We perhaps didn’t realise how important Antonio was to this West Ham team until he went down injured at the back end of August. The team’s form got progressively worse while he was out, only to pick back up marginally once he returned to full fitness. However, to say that he has been the Irons’ best player this season is just ludicrous. He simply hasn’t played enough to warrant that distinction. There’s no doubt that he’s done well when he has played, though. As per WhoScored.com, the 29-year-old has scored once and is averaging 2.2 shots and 1.8 successful dribbles per game. He’s yet to dip below 6.99 in WhoScored ratings since he came back into the team off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur last month, too. Having said all that, you can’t say that he’s been better than Declan Rice or Angelo Ogbonna this season, there’s simply no way.