West Ham striker Michail Antonio has only just recovered from a hamstring injury and needs to be managed carefully.
Michail Antonio has been a crucial part of David Moyes’ success as West Ham manager during his second spell in charge of the club. When the striker was injured, the team did not play with the same gumption and danger in its attacks.
The 30-year-old has struggled with hamstring problems over the last few seasons and this season they seem to be more frequent. Antonio has already missed a substantial part of the season due to being sidelined.
Now the striker is fit again but does need to be managed carefully, so he doesn’t reinjure himself again. It is crucial that Antonio does not suffer another setback, especially as he is the only fit senior striker at the club.
Michail Antonio has scored four Premier League goals for West Ham this season.
Moyes has given a positive update on Antonio after there were rumours that he could be a doubt for the match against West Brom. The Hammers are about to welcome back Robert Snodgrass and Sam Allardyce on Tuesday night in the Premier League.
"“I think if anything Mich’s managed himself within the games really well. He’s doing well but I know there’s another couple of gears for him to go up to in the game. “He’s an important part of the team, you can see that from his goal on Saturday, so we’ve got to be careful with him. We’ll get him ready for the game. I think it’s a really quick set of games for lots of clubs.”Moyes on Antonio."
Although Moyes’ positive outlook is all very well and good but it just shows how weak the depth of West Ham’s squad is. Since the sale of Sebastien Haller, there is no substantial back-up to Antonio. This means the striker is forced to play more than would be sensible considering his hamstring problems.
The club are currently trying to sign a replacement for the Ivorian international. Moyes wants to bring in a player with similar attributes to Antonio. This will allow the manager to deploy the same system if Antonio is injured or in need of a rest. The most likely target at the moment is Boulaye Dia from Stade De Reims.
If Antonio is unable to play against the Baggies from the start, it could present an opportunity for youngster Ademipo Obudeko. The teenager is highly rated in the academy and is desperate for a chance in the first-team.