By Gabriel Agbonlahor

23rd Dec, 2020 | 8:00pm

Agbonlahor Exclusive: This may be Real Reason for Antonio's new West Ham deal

Gabriel Agbonlahor has suggested West Ham moved to secure Michail Antonio to a new contract because of the recent form of Sebastien Haller.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Aston Villa and England striker insisted the 30-year-old’s new two-and-half-year contract is fully deserved.

The Hammers confirmed on Friday that Antonio had committed his future to the London Stadium.

Football Insider revealed the striker will net around £9million from the deal which is broadly on the same terms as his previous £70,000-a-week contract.

Antonio has featured in just one of the Irons’ last eight games as he is struggling with a hamstring injury and Haller has led the line in his absence.

West Ham’s record signing has not had much joy in front of goal and has scored just twice since being given an extended run in the side.

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Asked by Football Insider whether Antonio deserved a new contract, Agbonlahor said: “100 per cent.

“I’m sure West Ham wanted to tie him down because Sebastien Haller has scored a couple of goals but he’s not the answer.

“They look much better with Antonio because of his pace and power and he can score goals as well.

“He deserves that deal. I’m sure he’ll be buzzing to sign it too because West Ham are a good club and they both suit each other.”

Antonio has scored 12 times in 23 appearances across all competitions for the Hammers in 2020, including eight goals in July that earned him the Premier League player of the month.

He has 39 Premier League goals for West Ham putting fourth in their all time list for the competition – four behind third place Paolo DiCanio.

In other news, a top pundit has dropped a four-word verdict on Mark Noble quitting West Ham.