West Ham might just have found Antonio's perfect partner in Nikola Vlasic
West Ham United return to action this week away at Southampton.
Michail Antonio will be eager to continue his early season form, and he may find it even easier to kick on now that the Hammers have signed Nikola Vlasic.
The Croatian attacker joined the club for £25m on transfer deadline day (The Guardian) and he could be the perfect foil for West Ham’s main man.
Antonio’s start to the season has seen him clock up four goals and three assists in just three Premier League games. But things could still get better.
In Vlasic, David Moyes has signed a player who can fit in perfectly on the wing, in the 10 position or up front. But, wherever he plays, he has the capabilities to shine.
Last season in the Russian Premier League Vlasic’s numbers were sublime.
Not only did he score 11 and assist five goals, his underlying numbers were incredibly impressive.
Across 26 league games Vlasic averaged 4 shots, 2.8 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game (WhoScored).
With those stats, being able to consistently take on chances himself, create opportunities for teammates and beat men with the ball at his feet, he could help Antonio reach a new level.
Antonio, donning the West Ham number 9 shirt this season, thrives when he can work himself a yard of space.
With Vlasic alongside him to draw players and create that space, Antonio could find a new level of form and become even more invaluable for West Ham.
Having only recently signed, we may not see Vlasic straight away for the Irons.
When he gets up to speed, though, he could certainly strike up a devastating partnership with Antonio. Especially if Moyes can find a way to play them together without upsetting the balance of his squad.