'Not going to lie': Michail Antonio admits he's gutted West Ham didn't sign £80k-a-week star this summer
On the Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio shared his frustration that the England international didn’t return to the London Stadium: “I was definitely disappointed, not going to lie.
“He was a massive player and helped push us. He was one of the reasons why we did finish in Europe.”
Lingard joined West Ham in January 2021 on a six-month loan after failing to feature for Manchester United in the Premier League that season.
His spell with the Hammers was a revelation, scoring nine goals and providing five assists in 16 games.
Lingard’s form was so good that he earned himself a recall to the England squad, and convinced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep him at Old Trafford last season.
However, he once again struggled to make an impact and left the club on a free transfer this summer.
Antonio disappointed Lingard didn’t join West Ham
The £80,000 per-week attacking midfielder was heavily linked with a return to West Ham this season.
However, to the surprise of many, newly promoted Nottingham Forest pipped them to the signing of Lingard, as he joins a host of new arrivals at the City Ground.
Antonio believes West Ham needed a player like Lingard, but has wished him well on his move to his former club: “We were looking forward to him and he was a player we definitely need right now in our squad.
“So, the fact we didn’t get him and Forest did, it’s a great signing for Forest and I feel I just put it down to him wanting to go somewhere he can really just play week in, week out.”
Lingard is going to have to hit the ground running for Forest while many of his new teammates adapt to the Premier League.
There’s going to be plenty of attention on the 29-year-old to see if he’s made the right choice after a summer of speculation.
West Ham have now turned their attention to new attacking targets, although another target they’ve been heavily linked with may not be too expensive to bring in.
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