Forget Antonio: West Ham can answer Moyes’ prayers with “extraordinary” £9m-rated star – opinion

Forget Antonio: West Ham can answer Moyes’ prayers with “extraordinary” £9m-rated star – opinion

West Ham have been name-checked as one of a Premier League sides interested in Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah amid the striker’s uncertain future at the Emirates.

What’s the story?

The England U21 international sees his contract with the north London side come to an end in the summer, and would be able to sign a pre-contract deal with a foreign club in January.

Now, The Daily Mail claim that David Moyes’ West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brighton are among his admirers in the Premier League, who would be able to get Nketiah for a cut-price fee due to his contract status.

The report adds that the young striker remains on course to leave the Emirates in the January transfer window despite Mikel Arteta’s attempts to keep him at the club.

Forget Michail Antonio

While Michail Antonio started the Premier League season off with a bang – he netted four goals and provided three assists in just the opening three league games – his form has tailed off dramatically since his winner against Spurs back in late October.

The Jamaican has yet to score in the league since – a run of eight games – while he’s also had just the one assist in that time-frame too, and it’s exposed one of the big worries Moyes will no doubt have had even before the season started: just how would the Hammers cope if Antonio was out injured, or wasn’t firing?

Well, in Nketiah, they could find someone who could be the answer to all their problems.

Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has waxed lyrical about Nketiah, claiming that his style of play is very much reminiscent of a certain former Hammers star in Jermain Defoe.

The 46-year-old said: “He reminds me of another Jermain Defoe and look at how well he did at West Ham. He’s very much that similar sort of player. He plays off the shoulder, very dangerous in the box. He’s a player you can’t take your eyes off because his movement’s so good.”

And, Nketiah has shown particularly in recent weeks that he’s very much someone who can deliver the good, recently bagging a hat-trick against Sunderland in the League Cup semi-final, while Mikel Arteta has previously raved about his talents too.

He said: “I want him to keep doing what he’s doing. The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age.

“He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area I think. I have a lot of faith in him.”

The £9m-rated starlet could give the Hammers that much-needed striking alternative to Antonio, and also someone who could potentially take over from their current first-choice number nine.

Meanwhile, West Ham have been linked with this Championship starlet…

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