The summer transfer window is in full force and teams in the Premier League are already busy, making deals for their top transfer targets. Roy Hodgson, who did a decent job to keep Crystal Palace up, is also set to sign some exciting stars this summer and has been linked to a number of stars recently.
But one player, they are now favourites to land is Michail Antonio.
West Ham Ready To Off-Load Antonio:
A transfer target in the past for the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, Antonio has struggled with various injuries in his time at London Stadium and reports today suggest that his future under new manager Manuel Pellegrini is not looking too bright.
The Guardian claim that West Ham United, though not open to selling any of their first team stars, are ready to listen to offers for Antonio. His contract with West Ham runs down in 2021 so it will take a fancy bid for the Eagles to land Antonio. But is he the right man for Palace?
Antonio And His Versatility:
Having started his senior career with Reading, Antonio spent time at six different English clubs in two different tiers, before joining West Ham United back in 2015. He picked up a total of 9 goals in 32 appearances in the first season, a feat he repeated again in the next season.
However, the 2017/18 season was not too friendly for him, as he missed 24 games in all competitions for the Hammers in the campaign. He did manage three goals and an assist in 16 league starts and was influential when he was fit.
A versatile player who can play on either wing, as a striker, as a wing-back or even as a right-back, the 28-year old has failed to break into the national side but is a utility player of the highest order. He is quick, athletic and strong, can lead the line as a target man or as a false-9, using his pace and strength to get the better of even the best of the defenders.
On the wing, he is effective when taking on his man but is equally adept at cutting in and creating chances for his side. He is a decent finisher but what makes him much more dangerous is his willingness to put in the hard yards. He contributes at both ends of the field and at 28, is in his prime as a footballer and will be a huge coup for Palace.
Where Does He Fit In?
Hodgson used a compact 4-4-2 system for most of the crunch games last season. While Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend were both effective, Christian Benteke failed to show any kind of form, leaving Palace in search of another attacker in the transfer market.
They would ideally want to replace Benteke with an established striker but spending on Antonio will give them a backup to the Belgian and will also help improve options on the wing.
He might be a tad expensive but his signing makes a lot of sense for the Eagles.