By Gabriel Agbonlahor

29th Jul, 2022 | 12:43pm

Agbanlahor 'sure' on West Ham freezing out Michail Antonio after confirmed news

Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted Michail Antonio will still play a “big part” in the West Ham attack despite Gianluca Scamacca’s arrival.

The former Aston Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 32-year-old could play as a second striker or on either flank for the Irons this term.

West Ham confirmed the signing of Scamacca on Tuesday (26 July), with the Italy international signing a five-year deal – with the option of a further year.

According to Sky Sports (28 July), the Irons paid Sassuolo £35.5million for the 6ft 5in striker’s services.

Antonio started the 2021-22 campaign strongly with six goals in the first six league games but struggled with fitness and injury issues as the season wore on.

The Jamaica international has just two years left to run on his contract at the London Stadium.

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When asked if Antonio is now second choice at West Ham, he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Not at all.

“David Moyes is an old-school manager, so I think he will sometimes look to play that 4-4-2. That could be an option.

“Antonio has played a lot of his career on the wing too. You could have him and Bowen on the flanks and Scamacca up front.

“There are options for Moyes. I don’t see Antonio being dropped, but he may be rested more – Moyes has that opportunity now.

“They are in Europe too, so there’ll be more rotation. The kind of player he is, strong and athletic – that will mean he gets muscle injuries, but West Ham are now ready to deal with that.

“His game time will be reduced, but he will play a big part – I’m sure.”

In other news, pundit laments West Ham “sucker punch” as insider news confirms “worst fears”.