West Ham United boss David Moyes believes Michail Antonio has become vital for his side, likening his influence to that of former forward Marko Arnautovic.
The Irons produced a great performance yesterday to earn an unlikely point against Manchester City at the London Stadium in the Premier League.
West Ham went ahead through Antonio, who executed a bicycle kick in the first-half to stun the visitors, before Phil Foden levelled after the break for City.
It was an outstanding goal from the 30-year-old, who now has three for the season. He has 11 since Project Restart last term and only Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (12) has more.
Moyes lavished praise on £70,000-a-week star Antonio (Spotrac) after the game, talking up his talismanic status at the club.
He said on BT Sport: “It was a great goal. He’s become really important to the team here. A couple of years ago we had Marko Arnautovic – he was incredibly important to the team.
“Michy Antonio is doing the same. Most football club’s need a really good number nine and we’ve got one at the moment.”
TBR’s View – Antonio is the real deal
It’s a fair comparison from Moyes.
Arnautovic – who was sold by the club last year for a reported £22 million (Telegraph) – had the ability to provide moments of magic and win games on his own, and it seems Antonio has now reached a level where he’s capable of the same.
To be performing as well as he is without being an out-and-out striker is highly impressive, and so long as he can stay fit, West Ham should have no relegation fears and instead have top-half hopes.