Darren Bent admits he fears Michail Antonio’s fitness problems could hamper his chances of getting a big-money contract deal at West Ham.
The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, suggests the Irons may be reluctant to tie the 30-year-old to a long-term deal after his previous issues.
Hammers boss David Moyes revealed via Football.London that contract talks are yet to take place but that they could open negotiations at the end of the season.
Antonio’s current deal in east London is set to expire next summer, with his last extension signed back in 2017.
Bent insists that the forward is a “massive” player for Moyes but questions whether his previous fitness problems will scupper his hopes of becoming a top earner at the London Stadium.
Bent told Football Insider: “He’s been massive but what goes against Michail Antonio – listen, he is a powerhouse, he really does make a difference – but what goes against him is the whole injury thing.
“That’s what’s going to kill him, how can a team commit to him long term? As an absolute powerhouse, a specimen, he is brilliant, he causes some serious problems, but you think how can you give someone the big money if they’re only going to play half the season?
“You can’t do that, they can’t invest like that. It’s obviously up to him to stay fit.”
Antonio has scored eight goals this season, with four of those coming against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.
However, he has missed chunks of the season through injury, including nine consecutive league games between August and November.
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