West Ham’s debut campaign at the London Stadium has certainly been turbulent, as the Hammers have endured difficulties trying to settle in their new home- which hasn’t been helped by poor form and the January departure of Dimitri Payet.
An upturn in performances over the course of recent weeks as seen the Hammers secure their Premier League status for another season and push towards a top-half finish, with last week’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur providing a timely boost for the side.
West Ham have a lot to sort out this summer though, as the future of manager Slaven Bilic remains under scrutiny and the squad needs to be improved significantly- as well as the danger that their best players could be lured elsewhere.
However, yesterday a major deal was secured as the Hammers tied star-man Michail Antonio down to a new four-year deal, ending speculation that the former Nottingham Forest man could be on his way out this summer after previous reports suggested he’s eyeing an exit.
Securing Antonio to a new deal was always set to be a major task for West Ham to complete, and one that would provide a significant boost once it was done, but the fact the news comes before the end of the season is significant as it sends a defiant message to the rest of the Premier League.
West Ham’s new deal for Antonio shows the Hammers are not prepared to let their best players go easily and that they’re eyeing a rise next season, where they’ll look to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Everton for a spot in European football.
It also gives West Ham a positive platform to start their own transfer business on as it’s shown potential targets their ambition, which will certainly help them secure the necessary additions they need to compete further next season.
Of course, the most positive impact Antonio will provide will come on the field as the winger has been a bright spark in an otherwise disappointing campaign for West Ham; with the 27-year-old England international netting nine goals and securing three assists in the Premier League this term, numbers that should rise if West Ham secure top-class additions.
For Antonio, the deal is also a positive one as it shows West Ham’s commitment to the player and staying in familiar surroundings will be crucial to his ambitions of representing England in the World Cup next summer, having pushed his way into Gareth Southgate’s set-up this year.
Injury may have ended Antonio’s campaign prematurely but the latest deal for the Hammers’ star-man may just end up being the most positive aspect of their debut season at the London Stadium.