Moyes ‘thrilled’ to secure future of ‘instrumental’ West Ham star

Date published: Saturday 19th December 2020 10:09

West Ham manager David Moyes has welcomed the news that Michail Antonio has committed his future to the club.

The 30-year-old, who has signed a new deal until 2023, scored eight goals in six games at the end of last season to help the Hammers avoid the drop, and Moyes is hoping for more of the same.

“He’s been really important, certainly since lockdown,” Moyes said. “He’s been instrumental to a lot of goals in how he’s played.

“I’m pleased. It’s good the club had things in control and I’m thrilled we’ve got Mickey sorted. All I need to do now is get him fit and firing and ready to play the way he has in recent weeks.”

Moyes is approaching the one-year anniversary of his return to West Ham, since when he has guided them to safety and then overseen a strong start to this season.

His side began the weekend in eighth place ahead of Monday’s match against Chelsea.

“We’ve worked hard,” he said. “We want to try and improve. When I took over just about this time a year ago we were in the bottom three going into the first game, but we’ve made improvements, we’ve made good recruitments and it’s given us a chance.

“But, more importantly, the players got themselves in good condition with their fitness levels and we improved our attitude all round.

“We’ve improved but it’s small steps and we’re far from the finished article.”

No Rice regrets for Lampard

Frank Lampard insists Chelsea cannot regret Declan Rice slipping through the academy net and flourishing at London rivals West Ham.

England midfielder Rice progressed through Chelsea’s much-vaunted academy but was released aged 14, before making the switch to the Hammers.

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The 21-year-old has since risen to prominence in east London and become an England regular – to the point where he is now a long-term transfer target for the Blues.

Chelsea could have to pay upwards of £50million to sign a player who came through their system and remains best friends with Blues midfielder Mason Mount – but boss Lampard insisted no academy can make the right call with every young player.

“He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England, so fair play, because his journey there, after leaving Chelsea and going to West Ham, it’s a good story to hear,” said Lampard.

“There are lots of those stories for different reasons, at whatever level and that shows a strength of character. In terms of our end, I certainly wouldn’t use the word regret.” Read more…

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