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‘I love him’: Peter Crouch says West Ham now have a player he absolutely adores

West Ham United have started this season in glorious form.

The east London team has a perfect record in the Premier League thus far, and it appears like they may once more make a run for the top six.

Although David Moyes’ club values teamwork above all else, the Hammers have recently put on some outstanding individual displays.

While praising Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse on his podcast, Lucas Paqueta received a particular mention from Peter Crouch, who described the Brazilian as a player he adores.

Paqueta is dear to Crouch.

The pundit spoke highly of some of the West Ham stars this season.

“They have made signings and I like the look of West Ham. Ward-Prowse has been a big signing for them, Paqueta, I love him as a player and they did well to hang on to him, I’m glad he’s still playing as well, and Bowen is on fire as well,” Crouch said.

A lot to like

There is a lot to enjoy about this West Ham team, which seems strange to say about a David Moyes squad that has recently drawn so much criticism.

While Moyes has long been criticized for his ugly style of play, this West Ham club is now playing some fantastic football, with players like Paqueta and Bowen shining every week.

When Mohammed Kudus is included, this West Ham team may become even more intriguing.


Signed for £7m, now “absolute fire”: West Ham struck gold with “special” £85k-p/w gem – opinion

The Hammers star has played a crucial role in David Moyes’ turnaround of the team.

“We have a world-class player on board.”

David Sullivan, the chairman of West Ham United, spoke these words in June 2015. at the time, a co-chairman. Slaven Bilic had been hired as the team’s manager earlier that summer, and his job was to take the Hammers out of the Premier League’s lower reaches and into prominence.

Sullivan’s assertion referred to the £10 million purchase of skillful playwright Dimitri Payet, who was regarded as one of Europe’s most underappreciated artists.

The Irons were successful in their endeavors, blitzing into form in the 2015–16 season and earning a seventh-place finish in the top-flight, with Bilic’s French “genius” – as one match commentator remarked after that assist – the key to his team’s success. Bilic racked up 12 goals and 15 assists across all competitions, inking his name into Hammers lore.

But the tiny gem’s stay in east London turned out to be only a brief stopover, and his second season was challenging because he was unhappy with club life and the way his form had affected the locker room. Bilic told the media in January 2017 that his outstanding talent wanted to go. That was the end of her writing.

Payet stole the headlines, and rightfully so. For that one fleeting season, West Ham was graced with a once-in-a-lifetime kind of player, the sort that shoots you out of your seat as if by a trebuchet, mouth gaped open and stars in your eyes.

There was another, though, who also signed a contract with the Irons in the summer of 2015. Some would say that this was the time when David Moyes’ second appointment in December 2019 fostered the newfound success that has, as we all know, paid off handsomely.

Michail Antonio is that person. The dynamic ace, who went unnoticed at the time but is now a mainstay of historical accomplishments, will leave London with a lasting, silver-laden legacy.

How much did West Ham sign Michail Antonio for?

2015’s deadline day. a yearly occasion that is frequently fraught with anxiety as teams rush to complete agreements and give their squads the best opportunity to achieve their seasonal goals.

West Ham had indeed hired Bilic and added players like Payet, Angelo Ogbonna, and Manuel Lanzini to the lineup.

Antonio, a 25-year-old forward, accepted an offer from Nottingham Forest for around £7 million, turning off interest from Derby County and West Bromwich Albion in a transaction that earlier that day appeared doomed to fail.

It was a pittance for an enthusiastic and athletic athlete who had just finished the previous season with the Tricky Trees and had just tallied 14 goals and assists in the Championship.

Few anticipated the stalwart that the powerhouse would become, even though Antonio grew into his skin and scored 11 goals in all competitions in his rookie season, including eight goals from 23 league starts. Antonio would spend seven of his first eight Premier League matches as an unused substitute, coming off the bench for 30 minutes in the other.

How good is Michail Antonio?

In the present, Moyes has guided West Ham to the Europa Conference League trophy, ending an eons-long trophy drought for the club (United’s last major trophy was the 1980 FA Cup), and West Ham has entered the 2023–24 Premier League season ready for a third consecutive continental campaign.

They’ve also gotten off to a confident start, getting up for a challenging match against mighty Manchester City after claiming three straight wins, including victory over Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, after drawing with Bournemouth on the south coast.

Antonio, who has scored twice in his first four games of the year and now has 63 goals overall for the team in the Premier League, is one of the goal scorers.

The 33-year-old has made 280 appearances, scoring 77 goals and dishing out 43 assists overall. His boss hails him as a “special” star and credits him with helping the Conference League win.

Only a raging Mohamed Salah beat the 12-cap Jamaican international in 2021, a further tribute to a player who, in the words of commentator and Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand, was “absolutely on fire”.

Even though he may be aging, Antonio is still a strong choice. He scored 14 goals in all competitions last season, including six goals in seven Conference League starts, which were crucial to the club’s progression through the rounds.

He ranks in the top 10% of forwards across Europe’s top five leagues for successful take-ons per 90 and the top 11% for progressive carries over the past year, according to FBref, underscoring the distinctive set of skills he brings to the table and has done so with such prolific conviction over his years as a Hammer.

If West Ham had decided to sell the £85k-per-week phenomenon at some point over the past few years, Antonio would not have fetched the most lucrative transfer fee, with Football Transfers actually only ever listing his maximum worth at £15m, in 2022.

However, when taking into account his effect across the 280 games he has made for the team, it is clear that his role has been considerable. From 2019–20 to 2021–2022, when he was at the height of his abilities, he scored 30 Premier League goals in just 86 appearances.

A magnificent striker who will always be cherished for his important contribution to this developing West Ham team, and he hasn’t even finished yet.

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