Opinion: Hammer appears set to be rightfully rewarded for heroic efforts

Image for Opinion: Hammer appears set to be rightfully rewarded for heroic efforts

When the Premier League restarted after its break due to the coronavirus pandemic, West Ham were in a precarious position. The Irons found themselves teetering narrowly above the relegation zone, and consecutive defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur only compounded the pressure on David Moyes.

Enter Michail Antonio. The Englishman was utterly tremendous and rescued the Hammers’ season when the Scot placed Antonio as a lone striker. The results were devastating and began in the vital 3-2 win over Chelsea, where the 30-year-old both scored and assisted to provide a critical contribution when it mattered most against the Blues.

The former Nottingham Forrest forward’s fine form was only just beginning though as he found the net in consecutive games for the first time last season, in the 2-2 draw against Newcastle four days later. A remarkable quartet against Norwich City followed to send the Canaries back to the Championship, along with the opener in the vital Watford win and the penalty conversion at Old Trafford to secure the Irons’ Premier League status.

By notching eight goals after the restart, Antonio propelled himself to double figures for Premier League goals for the first time in his top-flight career, finishing as West Ham’s top scorer on ten strikes. It now appears that the English forward is set to be rewarded for his outstanding performances in the late survival push by earning himself a new contract talks at the London Stadium.

It is believed that the forwards is currently earning a weekly wage in the region of £65k. Although, his new deal could put him amongst the top earners at the club, Sebastien Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere who are all on at least £100k per week. Given the Ukrainian and English midfielders have missed 45 and 53 matches respectively over the last two seasons through injury, Antonio would certainly provide better value for a bumper new deal.

With Antonio’s existing contract entering its final year, although there is an option to extend, it seems sensible for the Hammers to offer their top scorer last season a package which befits his contribution. Antonio will almost certainly be aiming to continue the momentum from his incredible late run next term and to see his name back atop of the scoring charts at the London Stadium again next season.

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