One of top performers of last season, an unexpected late bloomer, Michail Antonio has agreed to sign a new deal with West Ham , keeping him at the Olympic Stadium until 2020.
The 26-year-old arrived from Nottingham Forest for £7million and became something of benchwarmer until he found his stride and his place, eventually netting eight easy-on-the-eye goals. Most memorably he scored in West Ham’s game of the season, the 3-2 win over Manchester Utd which brought down the curtain on the Boleyn Ground.
He said: “I am happy that the manager and the chairman have showed their belief in me to give me a new deal.
“I have always believed in my own ability and when I am given the opportunity I will take it and hopefully I have showed that.
“I had to be patient when I first arrived, but once I got the chance I never looked back and hopefully I can now push on and do even better than what I did last season.”
Aaron Cresswell is another of last year’s successful side who was given a vote of confidence with a year-long extension to his long-term contract on Tuesday (July 5).
The 2015 Hammer of the Year and left back has a deal that will keep him in east London until 2021.
Cresswell is on the US tour but told the club’s website : “It’s great news for me. I’ve been here for two years now and I’m looking forward to the next five seasons.
“Last season, especially with it being the last season at the Boleyn Ground, was pretty special, with the Manchester United game one which will live with me forever.
“This season, we’re all looking forward to the new Stadium that’s up and running now, the first game with Juventus which is obviously going to be a fantastic day, and the season ahead.”
Meanwhile Enner Valencia could be moving to Italy if West Ham can recoup his original £12million transfer fee. The Ecuador international is wanted by Lazio but they are only initially offering a loan deal with a guaranteed £10million at the end of it.
West Ham want the money and the certainty now as they pursue a replacement striker. They already have banked £12.5million from James Tomkins’ move to Crystal Palace.
July 5: Seattle Sounders (CenturyLink Field, Washington)
July 12: Carolina RailHawks (WakeMed Soccer Park, North Carolina)
July 28: UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg
August 4: UEFA Europa League third qualifying round second leg
August 7: Juventus, Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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