Michail Antonio is ready to entertain the West Ham fans after making his deadline day switch from Nottingham Forest for a £7million fee.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 25-year-old winger could not hide his delight about moving back to London having grown up in Wandsworth and spending his youth career with Tooting and Mitcham, and hopes moving back “home” will bring out the very best of him at the Boleyn Ground.
“I’m buzzing and finally happy to be back in London at a massive club,” the winger told West Ham TV. “I’ve always been around London and I came to a couple of games here when I was younger, so I’m happy to be finally here and at a club I watched when I was younger.
“I’ve picked West Ham because I’m home. It’s London and I’m comfortable here and I think that’s where I’ll play my best football. I have seen the way the manager plays and I reckon I can flourish here.
“Growing up, I wanted to be around the best and have competition and being at West Ham there is lots of good competition. The last result, winning 3-0 at Liverpool, showed that I am coming to a great team that’s established in the Premier League and hopefully I can put my mark down here at the club.”
Antonio also added he will not shy away when playing in claret and blue and is hopeful he can follow up on a fantastic start to the season with Nottingham Forest by adding to his goal tally.
“If I have the opportunity to go at my full-back I will go,” he stated. “I am the sort of player who picks the ball up and runs and tries to get crosses in or a shot at goal. I got 15 goals and 13 assists last season, and I’ve got four goals in four starts this season, so hopefully I can keep that going and the goals coming.
“I can play either side or in the hole, or sometimes as the big man, it depends on where the manager chooses to play me. I’m a person who, as long as I’ve got the shirt, I’ll play.
“I put my career path down to hard work, really. I didn’t have the technique so I’ve worked on it every day. I was in non-league and went to school, so I didn’t really get the opportunity to learn the basics.
“I’ve always been raw and have been doing raw stuff. I’ve always had the pace and the power and now my technique is starting to work, so hopefully I can show it and everyone can see what I can do.”