By Amir Mir
David Sullivan has confirmed Michail Antonio will be played as a winger this season after a decision was made to sign a specialist right-back.
Antonio has been deployed as a full-back under Slaven Bilic for the opening Premier League fixtures this season.
Despite playing in an unnatural position, the 26-year-old earned a debut call-up to Sam Allardyce’s first England squad for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
But, Sullivan revealed a decision was made to make changes to the “unbalanced” West Ham squad, with the club announcing the signing of right-back Alvaro Arbeloa on a one-year contract on Wednesday.
“Before the deadline day on Wednesday we had an unbalanced squad and we needed to change a few things around.” Sullivan told the club’s official website. “The decision has now been made that Michail Antonio will play as a winger after originally starting the season as a right-back.
“As a result we had to move out a winger, getting a £1.5m loan fee plus wages covered on Enner Valencia, and have brought in a full-back to compete with and help Sam Byram.
“We explored all avenues and managed to secure the signature of one of the more experienced full-backs in the world and one with Premier League experience.”
Antonio made a switch to the east London side in the summer of 2015 for a fee of £7 million from Nottingham Forest.
The pacy winger has scored two goals in six appearances in all competitions this season, after scoring 13 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions during the last campaign.
In other West Ham team news, David Sullivan gives his verdict on who will lead the Hammers attacking line against Watford.