West Ham Star Doubt For West Brom Clash

Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Michail Antonio was the match-winner against Burnley but could be a doubt for West Ham’s next Premier League match against West Brom.

West Ham currently only have one senior striker in the squad, and this is Michail Antonio. The Hammers do have Ademipo Obudeko, but he is unproven at the top level. So the news that the Englishman is a doubt for the next match is very worrying.

Antonio has only just returned from an injury layoff. The 30-year-old has struggled with persistent hamstring problems this season which have cut down his game time. When the striker is missing, it is a big blow for the team as the current system is very reliant on Antonio. Moyes will need to assess the fitness of Antonio who may not be ready to play two games in such a short space of time.

The match-winner against Burnley brings pace, power and a high-intensity work rate in the teams pressing of the opposition. This was missed during Antonio’s previous injury as Sebastien Haller was unable to repeat the performances with the same impact.

Michail Antonio, West Ham.
Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Haller has now been sold to Ajax, meaning that Obudeko could be promoted to the starting role if Antonio is indeed going to miss game time. David Moyes is trying to slowly introduce the youngster and will not want to rush him into the team.

Since selling Haller, West Ham have been trying to sign a replacement. The club have made a bid for Boulaye Dia of Stade De Reims, but no deal has been agreed. The potential injury to Antonio could speed up the club’s negotiations for the striker.

Dia has a very similar play style to Antonio and should be able to adapt to the Hammers system relatively easily. The club’s next match is only two days away as they are set to take on West Brom on Tuesday evening.

If a deal for Dia is not wrapped up quickly, then Moyes will have to experiment if Antonio does not pass a fitness test. This could mean a first Premier League start for Obudeko or giving Andriy Yarmolenko a chance as a striker. The Ukrainian does play as a striker for his national side with great effect.

Next. Flops and Tops; West Ham Player Ratings After Stressful Win. dark

The other option for Moyes would be to change the system and implement a false nine formation. This change would mean that either Jarrod Bowen or Said Benrahma would have to lead the line form the deeper position.