Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is keen on signing West Ham winger Michail Antonio, according to a report from the Mirror (page 69 of Sunday 28 July edition).
As speculation continues to intensify over the future of star Palace man Wilfried Zaha, it would appear Hodgson is putting contingency plans in place, with the former England manager identifying speedy winger Antonio as a potential replacement.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man has impressed for the Hammers in recent seasons, becoming a regular goalscorer and creator of chances, contributing six goals and four assists last season despite only starting 22 games for the Hammers.
Indeed, Palace could well need to act fast to replace the aforementioned Zaha if he does indeed move on, with his 10 goals and five assists proving crucial to the Eagles’ fight against the drop last year.
The signing of Antonio however could go a long way to filling in the void that could potentially be left by Zaha, and Antonio’s own stats are impressive too, although he does only average 1.8 successful dribbles per game as opposed to Zaha’s 3.4 (per Whoscored), something which could be quite a difference maker next term.
Antonio has 46 career goals thus far in, with his best season coming at Nottingham Forest when he notched 14 times in an impressive campaign before sealing his move to the Premier League with West Ham.
It is a smart move by Hodgson to look at bringing in a potential like-for-like replacement for Zaha.
While he is irreplaceable in some aspects, getting someone in who likes to run at people and cause problems with defences is exactly what Hodgson needs to do.
In terms of goal threat, there isn’t too much difference either, so if Zaha does move on, Antonio could well fill the void in the short-term at least.
Crystal Palace fans, would Antonio be a good Zaha replacement? Comment below!
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