Michail Antonio may be out through injury, but there is still discussion surrounding the 29-year-old West Ham United forward.
This is because he has a year-and-a-half left on his contract, as per Transfermarkt, so it is now being considered whether he will be able to earn an extension and whether his injuries will get in the way of that.
Before his setback against Newport County, Antonio had missed a total of 36 matches through injury since the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign.
He has become a popular figure having scored some big goals for the club, including the winner against Tottenham Hotspur in the last game between the two at Upton Park, as well as the first at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
This season, he has started 1 Premier League game, coming on as a substitute twice, winning 1.7 aerial duels and completing 0.7 key passes and 1 dribble per game, as per WhoScored.
Speaking to Football Insider about Antonio’s situation, Noel Whelan said: “Well I think that’s the only issue isn’t it, injuries have consistently come to the player over the last few seasons now.
“But there’s no doubt he has been a great servant to the club, he has scored some very important goals and has been an important part of their team for the last three to four years now, so yeah I’m sure the club will be loyal to a player that deserves a new contract.
“He still has 18 months plus on his deal, and that’s a long time to prove to the club that he’s worth a new contract, it’s all about earning it, what you’ve done in the past is one thing, but it’s whether you can be part of the next generation who could take the club forward.
“I’m sure he’s on a lot of money, will he be worth it for West Ham? Only if he puts in the performances, is consistent week-in-week-out and is someone they can’t afford to let go, he has got to prove that to them.”
It is unlikely that loyalty will come into play with this decision, as West Ham will be looking to do what is best for them, rather than helping out individuals, as shown by Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to let long-standing players such as Andy Carroll and Cheikhou Kouyate leave since moving to London Stadium.
As for Antonio, though, he has shown that he can be an effective player for the Hammers, so unless his game goes downhill, he should be able to earn another contract to extend his stay at London Stadium.
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