According to a report by The Mirror, Crystal Palace are interested in a summer swoop for West Ham United winger Michail Antonio this summer. The Hammers are open to sanctioning a move for the pacy attacker, which seems a tad surprising.
Despite West Ham’s numerous struggles last season, Antonio was undoubtedly one of their better players. In fact, he was instrumental in a lot of their successes but it looks like West Ham are looking for bigger and better things under Manuel Pellegrini’s watchful eyes.
The 29-year-old boasts of excellent skills along with an abundance of experience and he could prove to be a valuable signing for the Eagles. Over the course of the last season, Palace were dangerously close to the relegation zone on several occasions.
However, the appointment of Roy Hodgson as their new manager proved to be a success, as the Englishman guided them to a 11th-place finish. However, going forward, Palace must try to have higher ambitions. And a player like Antonio would come in extremely handy.
In 21 Premier League appearances for Palace in the previous campaign, Antonio scored 3 goals and provided a solitary assist. He averages 1.6 shots per game and is quite strong in the air as well, winning an average of 2 aerial duels.
In addition to that, the player makes an average of 0.7 key passes while completing 2.4 dribbles per game. His stats might not look all that impressive for a winger but one must remember that he played numerous roles last season.
In fact, Antonio has played as a defender, a midfielder and, of course, as an attacker throughout his tenure at West Ham. Hence, his versatility could make him an effective option for Palace. Antonio just needs the right manager to bring out the best in him and Hodgson could be the one.
His experience would offer a great deal of potency on the right-hand side, thereby elevating the Eagles’ performances on the whole.
The Hammers were one of the least impressive teams in the top-flight last term and Antonio’s performances understandably lacked firepower. But Hodgson has transformed Palace to a great extent and they will be looking to cause greater damage in the seasons to come.
To that end, a move for Antonio could prove to be extremely resourceful. After all, he is quite hard-working and given his versatility, he could also be an important utility man for Hodgson.
Hence, while the decision to sell Antonio is questionable on West Ham’s part, the 29-year-old could be a great buy for Palace.