David Sullivan's comments show how highly Slaven Bilic rates West Ham's Michail Antonio

West Ham United Gate

David Sullivan has hailed West Ham winger Michail Antonio.

West Ham United co-chairman David Sullivan has told the club's official website that winger Michail Antonio is starting to show why he was signed from Nottingham Forest.

Antonio, 25, hit 15 goals for Forest last season before leaving on deadline day back in September, joining West Ham on a four-year contract.

The London-born wide man had a slow start to life at Upton Park though, having failed to even make his debut before late November, when he came on as a substitute against West Bromwich Albion.

Now, the powerful, pacey winger is a regular starter for West Ham, as manager Slaven Bilic has had to contend with a host of injuries to attacking players such as Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Victor Moses.

Antonio hit his first goal of the season - albeit fortuitously - in the 2-1 win over Southampton on Monday evening, and is now looking to kick on and become a key player at Upton Park.

Co-chairman Sullivan, who helped bring Antonio to the club, has now had his say on the winger's performances, stating that he is finally starting to show fans just why West Ham were so desperate to sign him.

Sullivan also revealed that manager Bilic blocked Antonio from joining one of six interested Championship clubs a month ago, showing just how highly the Croatian rates the talented winger.

"Michail Antonio is now getting back to fitness and people are starting to see why we bought him," said Sullivan. "He’s a great member of our team and our squad and it shows why the manager would not loan him out when six Championship clubs came in for him before the loan window shut four or five weeks ago. And thank goodness we didn’t as we need him," he added.

What did you think of Antonio's display against Southampton?

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