Why Crystal Palace must go all out for Michail Antonio
Crystal Palace seemed almost destined to be doomed after the club lost the opening four games without scoring a single goal which saw then manager Frank De Boer get sacked. Roy Hodgson was immediately installed and the club lost another three more games with no goal to reply. But Hodgson ultimately turned things around and helped the Eagles to finish 11th in the league.
The manager will now be aiming to bolster the squad ahead of the new campaign and the club have been linked with West Ham midfielder Michail Antonio. Palace are reportedly interested in signing the Hammers midfielder, who could be an out of favour at the club this season.
Manuel Pellegrini has already brought in a number of additions to strengthen his squad and it’s looking more and more likely that Antonio will fall further down the pecking order. Roy Hodgson, on the other hand, has identified the midfielder as his number one target this summer. Antonio was largely restricted to a bench role last season and the 28-year-old could jump at the chance to move to a new club, in search of game time.
Antonio has played a total of 76 games in the Premier League for the Hammers since arriving from Nottingham Forest in 2015. He has scored 20 goals and provided 7 assists for the Hammers but last season, Antonio saw his game time gradually reduce. He was only able to make a total of 21 appearances last season, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist.
He is a very versatile player with the ability to play in a wide number of roles. Antonio can be deployed in a winger’s role, as a striker and also in a supporting role behind the striker. Antonio is also a good runner with the ball, with respectable energy and stamina.
The former Nottingham Forest man is also capable of playing in a wing-back role. He hit the ground running in his first two seasons at the club, scoring 8 and 9 goals in the two campaigns respectively. He would certainly be a great addition as the Eagles are on the rise.
Roy Hodgson will be aiming to soar higher with the Eagles this season, and with the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend proving that Palace are capable of better things, Antonio could be the solution to their problems.
He would be a great influence in the attack and would thrive off the presence of players like Zaha, Townsend and Sorloth. The Eagles should certainly go and snap up the player before any of their other Premier League rivals do.