By Alex McLeish

12th Aug, 2021 | 10:15am

Ex-manager makes 'sensational' claim as West Ham in talks to sign Antonio rival

Alex McLeish has insisted Liverpool striker Divock Origi could be a great signing for West Ham if he plays regularly.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland boss questioned whether Michail Antonio would keep the 26-year-old on the bench in east London.

As revealed by Football Insider on Saturday (7th August), West Ham have opened preliminary talks to sign Origi after Liverpool slashed his asking price.

The Reds are asking for £15million after demanding a £20million fee back in January.

The Belgium international still has three years left on his contract at Anfield.

McLeish admitted he expected more from the hitman’s time on Merseyside.

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He also questioned whether Origi would get enough game time to fulfil his potential at West Ham.

“You see that players that don’t quite make the level at certain clubs,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“I thought Origi might do a bit more damage at Liverpool than he has done. We had the experience of him in the national game when Scotland played Belgium.

“I think he’s capable if he gets regular game time. That’s what happens to a lot of players.

“When they don’t get regular game time, you can see a player going through his career and not really fulfilling it the way that they would have probably wanted to had they been getting regular football.

“Michail Antonio has been sensational.

The biggest problem for guys like Origi is if your teammates are ahead of you and the team are scoring goals galore, how do you get that chance?

“You do tend to become like an option, rather than a first-team choice. He has to kind of prove that if he gets that move to West Ham but he can be sensational, too.”

In other news, West Ham have pulled the plug on transfer after Moyes U-turn.