Opinion: Duo of West Ham Regulars Could Leave Now

West Ham veterans Michail Antonio and Craig Dawson. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
West Ham veterans Michail Antonio and Craig Dawson. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Reports have emerged that a duo of regular West Ham players would like to leave the club this January. While the double departure would weaken the Hammers if the players aren’t up for the fight then show them the door.

Long-time West Ham striker Michail Antonio and standout defender Craig Dawson have both been linked away from the Irons with Wolves looking to complete the double swoop for both Premier League veterans.

Trusted West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee has also confirmed the reports of the two indicated players potentially looking to move on, which should solidify the reality that this move could happen.

West Ham face two tough decisions on veteran players looking elsewhere despite relegation battle.

For Craig Dawson, the move makes sense. Dawson asked in the summer for a move to the midlands to be closer to his family. With defensive reinforcements signed in Nayef Aguerd, Thilo Kehrer, and newly recruited Brazilian youngster Luizao, you’d expect there to be room for him to leave.

For David Moyes, however, there is always room for another centre-back, especially if they are English and a Premier League veteran. This explains the links to Everton centre-back Michael Keane. The extra centre-back signing makes more sense with Kurt Zouma still out and Kehrer often deployed at right-back.

Onto Michail Antonio, the frustrating and frustrated centre-forward who has been snake-bitten this season in league play. The signing of Gianluca Scamacca and persistence to get him firing at a regular rate has sequestered Antonio to the bench this season. In his 17 appearances, Antonio has just two goals which are poor by his standards and contributing to the Hammers’ slow start this season.

There isn’t much justification for Antonio to leave, whether instigated by Wolves or by him. Wolves have more attacking options than West Ham currently with Raul Jiminez, Hwang Hee-Chan, Goncalo Guedes, Diego Costa, and Adama Traore all as striker options on top of many other attackers including Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto and newly signed Matheus Cunha.

As mentioned, Michael Keane has been identified as a replacement for Dawson, but who could Moyes line up as an Antonio replacement? Well, two names to watch are Youssef En-Neysri of Sevilla and Terem Moffi from Lorient.

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Regardless of the reason, if both of these veteran players who are relied on by Moyes regularly are pushing for a move away from the team now, it’s hard to sympathize with them. Two strong seasons of football for the Hammers showed the heights this team can reach, but if the idea is to leave when times get tough, then see ya later.