New West Ham arrival Nikola Vlasic has lauded the ‘amazing’ transformation of new team-mate Michail Antonio.
Vlasic joined the Hammers for a €30million (£25.7m) fee on transfer deadline day. The 23-year-old is a talented attacking midfielder who has been capped 28 times by Croatia.
He will help to bolster David Moyes’ frontline and could play just behind Antonio. He isn’t the only new arrival, as West Ham have also brought in Kurt Zouma from Chelsea, midfielder Alex Kral and PSG keeper Alphonse Areola.
Vlasic has now appeared in an interview discussing his new West Ham team-mates.
The playmaker told WHUTV: “I have heard a lot about professional Tomas [Soucek] and Vladimir [Coufal] are and how they have this mentality that they are always working hard and I like that because I am the same player.
“I want to work as hard as possible every day and I’m really professional.”
When asked about the club’s attack, he continued: “I see these players – Said [Benrahma], [Pablo] Fornals and [Jarrod] Bowen – and they’re really similar. Michail is a beast and what he’s done over the last year and a half is amazing.”
Antonio recently became West Ham’s all-time top goalscorer in the Premier League, overtaking Paolo Di Canio.
He notched his 48th and 49th goals in the competition during the impressive 4-1 win over Leicester.
Moyes has helped turn the 31-year-old into a prolific target man. He works hard for the team by starting the press and also pops up with goals in and around the box.
Another player who has improved under the Scot is England midfielder Declan Rice. He captains the side on a regular basis, despite his tender age, and looks set for another solid campaign.
Vlasic added: “About Declan, he’s West Ham captain and he’s only 22 and he’s in the starting XI in the national team, so I think you don’t need to say too much about him. Everybody knows his quality and how good he is.”
Coach heaps praise on West Ham striker
First-team coach Stuart Pearce has joined the list of people signing Antonio’s praises.
The forward changed his national allegiance to Jamaica earlier this year in a bid to feature at the World Cup. He made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in the recent 3-0 defeat to Panama.
Pearce said: “He’ll be looking and saying ‘Can I qualify for the World Cup and play at the World Cup?’
“He’s shown a real level of consistency, over the last couple of years I’ve got to say. I signed him at Nottingham Forest as a winger, and it was at that level of consistency you [are] always striving for.
“His level of professionalism, his level of consistency have gone through the roof working under David [Moyes] and David’s really getting the best out of him.”