Everton are reportedly interested in signing West Ham United’s Michail Antonio, who has around 14 months left on his contract.
What’s the latest on Antonio to Everton?
As per Football Insider, the Toffees, alongside Wolverhampton Wanderers, were keen on signing the 33-year-old in January, but a deal failed to materialise.
This summer may represent the last chance for Antonio to secure a big-money move away from the London Stadium, while it also presents Everton with a chance to potentially rectify their striker mistakes of the past.
According to the source, the east London club would be willing to part with the striker in the summer, but only if they can secure a replacement in the same window.
Everton cannot make the same striker mistake once again
The Merseyside club do need to sign a striker – that much is true. However, the Toffees have a rich recent history of signing attacking players that do not work out.
In recent years, Everton have signed Neal Maupay for an undisclosed fee, Cenk Tosun for £27m from Besiktas and Bernard on a free transfer. The latter of the two, despite the Brazilian having bright sparks at times, were relatively unsuccessful in their times in the Premier League.
Tosun only managed six goals in 50 appearances for Everton in the league, whereas Bernard accrued just five. The pairing’s inability to score damaged an already poor Toffees attack, which could be the same for Antonio.
Signing the Jamaica international is risky for a different reason, though. The 33-year-old has made 26 appearances (14 starts) this Premier League season for the Hammers, yet has only amassed three goals.
Via FBref, Antonio is ranked within the bottom 30% for non-penalty goals per 90 minutes when compared to Europe’s top five league’s positional peers this past year, showing that he has not been finding himself in the correct positions to create chances.
While this may be down to the West Ham side not creating any chances for the former Nottingham Forest striker – the east London side have created just 28 big chances this season – his lack of goals this season would be a huge concern if Everton are to sign him, as they need someone who they know will be of instant success.
Antonio is reportedly on an £85k-per-week contract at West Ham. For the Toffees to sign the forward, they will need him to commit to lower wages. The risk of signing an ageing player on a wage so high is extreme for Everton – it could be detrimental to the club following their financial fair play (FFP) investigation.