West Ham slapped a £20million asking price on the head of Michail Antonio over the summer after it was revealed he had been struggling with some of the more demanding drills in training, according to The West Ham Way.
The podcast, which features the likes of well known insider ExWHUemployee, were left relaying a story which revealed former assistant manager Alan Irvine, who was second in charge behind David Moyes before their departure at the end of last season, was concerned about the fitness of the 28-year-old forward after being left “knackered” by some sprint training and that he found such exercises a difficulty.
Speaking about the potential departure of the winger, it is stated that West Ham had placed a £20million price tag on his head, although ExWHUemployee had suggested a £15million bid might have secured his exit.
This revelation will come as a bit of a surprise to the West Ham faithful, who will have considered the energetic Antonio, with his pure power and speed, to have been one of the fitter players among the squad. However it seems as though beneath the exterior he is perhaps not as well tuned as the club would have hoped, and that he requires either specialist training to improve his fitness levels or perhaps a change of style – which might mean shedding some of that muscle and weight – to better suit his game. Either way, the fact that the Irons were reportedly happy to let him go for £20million highlights that he is by no means guaranteed a future among the first team squad and a failure to impress could see him shipped out sooner than expected. His performance up front against Chelsea left a lot to be desired, and things will have to improve for the better if he hopes to continue keeping a place in the starting XI.