Daily Star journalist Paul Brown has hailed West Ham striker Michail Antonio as the best player in the Premier League at occupying a back four.
How has Antonio performed this season?
But his form shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore. The West Ham striker has been performing at this level since the Premier League returned after lockdown.
His four goals in four league games this season mean he’s now notched 22 in his previous 39 outings for the Hammers, whilst chipping in nine assists since last June.
Antonio started his campaign with a goal and an assist at Newcastle on the opening day before scoring a brace the following week against Leicester.
He repeated his opening day feat by scoring and assisting against Crystal Palace, with the only blot on his copybook his late sending off against Southampton last weekend which will force him to sit out the game against Manchester United on Sunday.
But the former non-league player proved his worth by setting West Ham on their way to a first ever Europa League group stage victory against Dinamo Zagreb in midweek.
Having established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in the division, Brown has been left thrilled with Antonio.
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What did Brown say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “He’s the best player in the Premier League at occupying a whole back four on his own. He’s everywhere. In your face, full of running he knows how to bully defenders and get at people.”
How big of a loss will he be against Manchester United?
Massive. Not only because of his own qualities, but simply because West Ham don’t have another recognised striker in their squad.
It’s likely that Jarrod Bowen will deputise for Antonio, but the wide man doesn’t possess the same threat as the Premier League’s top goalscorer, whose speed and power could have meant a tough afternoon for Harry Maguire, who’s previously struggled against pace.
There’s still every chance David Moyes’ side come away with a positive result, but Antonio’s absence will only decrease their chances of staying unbeaten.