Slaven Bilic shares the main reason he brought Michail Antonio to West Ham

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic offered high praise for one of his key men yesterday.

Speaking to reporters during his pre-match press conference, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic raved about Michail Antonio, labelling him as a fantastic example to young footballers looking to make their way in the game, as quoted by ESPN.

The 26-year-old has been a revelation for West Ham, since his £7 million move from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2015, and has gone on to establish himself as one of Bilic's most important players.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

And the Croatian described the level of influence Antonio has on his side, when speaking to the media, and highlighted the main reason why he chose to sign the powerful winger, as quoted by ESPN:

"I said it last year that he is a great example and a great motivation for young kids. He is a big player. He deserves everything and is always there to score goals. He is very versatile and that is why we got him. Some people ask, 'why are you putting him there and there and there?' But it's for the team. He is either playing on the side or upfront.''

West Ham United's Michail Antonio celebrates scoring their second goalWest Ham United's Michail Antonio celebrates 

The former Forest man has scored 16 goals in 43 Premier League appearances for the Hammers since his move to the club - a quite remarkable tally, considering that he has been utilised in the right wing-back role for many of those games.

The worry for West Ham fans is that if he keeps up the level of performances that he has shown so far this term, they could very well have a fight on their hands to keep him at the club over the summer.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch