Michail Antonio is ‘as important’ to West Ham as Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are for Leicester and Tottenham respectively, former Hammer Tony Cottee has claimed.
And he has been an invaluable player for West Ham again by scoring in two of four starts since returning from injury at the end of December, netting match-winners against Burnley and West Brom.
And despite failing to score in the 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, he was a constant threat and a big handful for the Eagles defence as the Hammers made it SIX wins on the bounce.
Cottee believes the influence Antonio’s is having can be compared to the significance of Vardy and Kane at their respective teams.
“We started off talking about how important Jamie Vardy is to Leicester. Well, Michail Antonio is that for West Ham,” Cottee, who made over 300 appearances for the Hammers in two spells, said.
“You can say the same for Harry Kane for Spurs. When you’ve got the top strikers who bang the goals in regularly – Antonio could have had four or five the other night.
“Listen if Michail gets injured then West Ham need a centre forward.
“Jesse Lingered will be a good signing because he can play up front, there’s no doubt about it.
“ But it will be more of a false nine. I don’t like buying the January transfer window – it’s a deflated market and everyone wants a goalscorer.
“I think West Ham would be better either buying from the lower leagues, which Moyes has done very successfully by the way, and taking a chance on a £9-£10million signing or get someone in on loan and wait until the end of the season to get a proper forward in.”
West Ham have identified Montpellier striker Gaetan Laborde as the man to accompany Antonio, according to reports.
The Hammers are desperately searching for a new striker after selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax earlier this month.
Antonio remains the club’s only senior striker and the Englishman has struggled with injuries in recent months.
Laborde, 26, has impressed in Ligue 1 this season with six goals and six assists.
And French outlet Le10Sport claims West Ham are interested.