Stuart Pearce has heaped praise on the ‘massive threat’ that is West Ham forward Michail Antonio, as he told talkSPORT (02/12/20 at 7:40 am).
West Ham purchased Antonio from Nottingham Forest for £7 million in 2015 [Sky Sports] – it was Pearce himself who brought him to the Midlands when he was in charge at the City Ground.
Injuries have hit Antonio hard in recent years and it hasn’t allowed him to go full throttle until these recent months where he has been one of the most dangerous forwards in the league.
From wideman trickster, David Moyes has transformed him into a deadly finisher and Pearce shared how he has found ‘a new lease of life’ playing down the middle.
“He’s a player that I know fairly well, before my time at West Ham,” said Pearce. “I signed him for Forest from Sheffield Wednesday.
“I mainly signed him as a flank player coming in, left or right-wing. Dave’s [Moyes] has put him down the middle.
“And certainly, this going back to last season, he seems to really enjoy that role. Leading the line. He can do it on his own. He’s a massive threat in behind because of his pace and power.
“It’s almost a new lease of life for him. He’s been a pleasure to work with, Michail. And he seems to enjoy playing that role down the middle.”
If Antonio can continue his form at club level then there is no reason why that knock won’t come from Gareth Southgate on the international stage.
The big problem that Antonio faces is that he has some serious competition ahead of like Harry Kane, Danny Ings, Tammy Abraham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Southgate does provide chances for those who perform and Antonio would no doubt add some fear, trickery and power to England’s forward line if he is provided with a chance.