West Ham United completed the signing of Michail Antonio from Nottingham Forest in September 2015 on a four-year deal, for a fee understood to be around £7 million.
The 29-year-old winger is arguably the best player to have played for the Reds in recent years. Not many players have shown that they have the ability to win games by themselves like the winger was able to.
Antonio was named the club’s Player of the Season after a superb performance in the 2014/15 campaign. He started every league match for the Reds during his first and only full season with the club, scoring 14 goals in the process.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports yesterday, Antonio revealed that he was always looking to play in the Premier League as soon as he possibly could. However, he has claimed that numerous top flight managers suggested he wasn’t good enough to make the step up during his time at the City Ground.
He said: “Once I’ve achieved something, I will always push myself to achieve something else.
‘They told me I was not consistent enough’
“And then I wanted to get into the Premier League. I scored nine goals and had 11 assists in the Championship.
“I was doing better than certain players in my position, but when I spoke to Premier League managers, they told me I was not consistent enough.”
In the end, Antonio didn’t have to wait too much longer to achieve his ambition of playing in the Premier League. It’s fair to say he’s proved those managers who didn’t rate him wrong.
He has been a huge hit with the Hammers since arriving at the Olympic Stadium. The Englishman has racked up 28 goals and 18 assists in 132 appearances in all competitions. It could’ve been even more if he wasn’t currently out injured with a hamstring injury.
He’ll be remembered by many Nottingham Forest fans for his explosive pace and power. He scored a number of remarkable goals during his time on Trentside. It was unfortunate that the Reds weren’t able to keep hold of him for a bit longer.
The Reds will be hoping that they can join Antonio in the Premier League themselves next season. Sabri Lamouchi’s side face Barnsley at the City Ground at the weekend as they look to move into the play-offs.
If they can secure promotion to the top flight, it would mean that their current crop of stars wouldn’t have to leave to achieve their own ambitions.