How Can West Ham Cope Without Star Forward

Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /

With Michail Antonio suffering a setback with his hamstring, West Ham will need to find a way to cope without the club’s talisman.

David Moyes confirmed in his pre-game press conference that Michail Antonio will miss West Ham’s match against Manchester United. It has happened time and time again with the Englishman being rushed back too soon and re-injuring himself again.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case this time, and Antonio will be back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Moyes will have to find a way to cope without his star man. The simple solution takes the shape of the towering Sebastien Haller.

The Ivorian striker was relied on during Antonio’s first spell out and showed a big improvement in his overall performances. The highlight was, of course, his stunning winning goal against Sheffield United. Haller was unlucky only to have scored once in this run of fixtures.

Sebastien Haller, West Ham
Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

The 26-year-old rattled the crossbar against Fulham. Plus with better service in the other games could have had a lot more opportunities to add to his two Premier League goals this season. Moyes will likely trust Haller with the responsibility of leading the line again.

A simple solution to an Antonio shaped problem, but the Hammers still have one more issue. With Haller starting there is no back-up striker on the bench in case injury strikes the Ivorian. Andriy Yarmolenko would be the next in line, but after only just returning from COVID-19 needs some time to recover fully.

Moyes, therefore, could look to the academy to fill this void. Ademipo Odubeko had impressed before his injury, scoring some wonderful goals for the youth teams. The 18-year-old is blessed with pace and could od a good job as an impact substitute if called upon.

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With the other option of switching Jarrod Bowen to the striker position unlikely. The winger’s work rate on the right to crucial to lose, a dip into the academy could be a good way forward. At least until the transfer window opens up.