West Ham United manager David Moyes has revealed that Michail Antonio is currently fatigued and he might not feature against Manchester United in their FA Cup clash later today.
The 30-year-old has been leading the line for the London club ever since Sebastien Haller left for Ajax.
The Hammers were linked with several strikers last month but they chose not to sign a proper number nine. Moyes has revealed that he had the option of spending big on a replacement for Haller but decided against it.
Moyes said to the club’s official website: “He’s still fatigued so it will be a close call whether he makes it or not. We’ll need to assess him tomorrow to see if he is able to play.
“It has been well documented that we don’t have a lot of other options.
“We’re well aware of that and we chose to do it. I didn’t want to waste £15-20 million on something I wasn’t sure about so that was the option I chose to take.”
West Ham went on to sign Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United and the attacking midfielder has done quite well in his couple of outings for the London club.
However, the 28-year-old is not a striker and West Ham are still missing someone who can lead the line week in week out.
The Hammers have done exceedingly well this season and are within touching distance of fourth place in the league table. A strong January window could have been the key to European qualification for the Hammers.
The Londoners are now overly reliant on Antonio for goals and it remains to be seen if they can sustain their push for European qualification with him as their only goalscoring option.
Even Antonio is not a natural number nine and the club should have gone for someone with better movement and finishing. Furthermore, he has missed eight Premier League games this season and his fitness record has not been the best.
The likes of Jarrod Bowen and Lingard are expected to chip in with goals but their numbers might not be enough for a side hoping to qualify for the Europa/Champions League.
The top teams have suffered this season due to injury issues and exhaustion and this is a glorious opportunity for West Ham to put together a memorable season.
It will be interesting to see if Moyes’ decision pays off eventually. If the Hammers fail to secure European qualification because of the lack of goals, it would prove that Moyes made a big mistake in the transfer market last month.