Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace must capitalise on recent reports by intensifying interest in £13.5m-rated star

According to a report from Sky Sports, West Ham have made a bid for Borussia Dortmund winger Andriy Yarmolenko. The Hammers are on the lookout for reinforcements in a bid to move to the next level under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, with Ukraine international Yarmolenko one man they feel can help take them towards the European spots in the Premier League this time round.

Yet the possible arrival of the 28-year-old could spell bad news for current Hammers ace Michail Antonio, which should be of interest to Crystal Palace and manager Roy Hodgson given their reported interest in the winger in recent times.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, 28-year-old Antonio struggled for regular first team football at the London Stadium last term in mustering just 21 Premier League appearances for the Hammers, in which time he netted just three goals.

Yes, injuries played a key part in his difficulties over the course of the campaign, but it has been reported that the Englishman, who has twice been called up to the senior squad only to fail to make his debut, is not part of Pellegrini’s plans for the future of the East London outfit.

And Yarmolenko’s possible arrival is only likely to push the 28-year-old even further down the pecking order at the London Stadium, which is why these recent reports should prompt Palace to seriously intensify their interest in the winger.

The Eagles, like West Ham, will be hoping to improve next season after battling relegation for the majority of last term, but with Andros Townsend one man who could be on his way out of Selhurst Park, Hodgson will surely be seeking to replace the England international – Antonio could be the ideal replacement.

The 28-year-old may have struggled for form and fitness last term, but he produced the goods in the two seasons preceding the last in netting nine goals and laying on five assists for the Hammers in the 2016/17 campaign, adding to the eight goals he bagged the season before.

Thus, it’s clear that Antonio has genuine pedigree at Premier League level and could be the man to replace linked-away Townsend at Palace, with the 28-year-old’s versatility likely to be of interest to Eagles boss Hodgson.

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And that’s because Townsend played much of last season in a more advanced central position such were Palace’s woes in the striking department, and that is a role Antonio has been successful in during his stint across the capital.

Add in adeptness down both flanks, at wing back, and indeed to a certain extent at right back, and Antonio would give Hodgson plenty of options were he to make the move to Selhurst Park.

Thus, with reports suggesting that West Ham are seeking to bolster their forward ranks with Yarmolenko, alongside the likelihood that Antonio will leave the London Stadium, Palace must seek to intensify their interest in the £13.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) in a bid to lure him across London.

Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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