Manuel Pellegrini hints he could use Michail Antonio also as a backup striker next season


West Ham United ended their pre-season tour of Asia with only a goal after only scoring in the 4-1 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

The Hammers lost 1-0 to Newcastle United in the third-place play-offs on Saturday, and manager Manuel Pellegrini would have been left wishing he had club-record signing Sebastian Haller available for the Far East tour.

It remains to be seen if West Ham will be making any more attacking signings this summer, but the Chilean already has his mind made up in case none arrives before the transfer window shuts.

Pellegrini hinted during his post-match conference after the Newcastle defeat that he could use Michail Antonio as a backup striker, alongside Javier Hernandez next term.

“Until the last hour of the transfer market, we can make changes but I think in this moment with those three players – Hernandez, Haller, Antonio – we have good options,” he said (as reported by

The versatile Antonio plays primarily as a winger, but did feature prominently as a striker in 2016–17 despite starting the first game of the campaign at right-back.

The West Ham star scored nine goals in 29 Premier League games, earning a call-up to manager Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad as a result.

Antonio will relish the chance to play as a striker again, and it will be interesting to see how Pellegrini deploys his versatility next term.

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