West Ham today confirmed that Chelsea transfer target Michail Antonio signed a new four-year contract extension until 2021.
The winger had been in fine form this year despite his team’s struggles and his own injury, scoring 9 league goals in just 28 appearances. He was recently voted Hammer of the Year in recognition for his solid performances throughout the campaign. The Blues were often linked to Antonio, mostly due to his ability to play anywhere on the right-hand side, and he would have provided good competition for Victor Moses.
This latest update makes the Antonio-to-Chelsea links irrelevant now, as there’s very little chance he moves on so soon after extending his contract, which is unfortunate. Moses has had an unbelievable rejuvenation this campaign, picking up several Man of the Match awards as he settled into the wing-back role quicker than anyone could’ve expected. However, with next year’s Champions League participation handing Antonio Conte a trickier fixture list to deal with, he’s going to need a stronger squad at his disposal. Everyone knows this, including the Board, which is why Chelsea probably missed a trick here.
Antonio would have fit nicely in several aspects. He’s strong, he's a danger from set-pieces and he's also a fine dribbler and very effective overall with the ball at his feet. He could’ve been an option at both wing-back or winger, and could’ve provided an option off the bench that wasn’t Fabregas or Willian. He would have been a solid addition, but unfortunately, that move doesn’t look likely.