By Alan Hutton

25th Nov, 2021 | 8:13am

Pundit fears for 'jinxed' Antonio at West Ham after Moyes latest

Alan Hutton has raised fears Michail Antonio could pick up a hamstring injury at West Ham in the coming weeks if not rested properly by David Moyes.

The former Rangers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the club’s star attacker, 31, needs to be rotated after a busy start to the season.

As quoted by football.london’s Tom Clark, Moyes revealed he chose to leave Antonio at home for Thursday’s trip to Rapid Vienna in order to maintain his fitness levels.

Moyes’ update comes after a study published by the CIES Football Observatory (22nd November) revealed West Ham had used the least players (25) in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year.

As such, Hutton insisted Moyes needs to find a way to rest Antonio and his teammates ahead of the festive period.

Discussing the Irons’ lack of rotation, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think that’s always a worry.

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“You fling into the mix international breaks, we know that managers always kind of panic over that.

“Again, Michail Antonio, can he stay fit for the full season? Round about this time of the year he can pick up hamstring injuries and stuff. I don’t want to jinx it but it’s true if you look over his past.

“Of course it’s a worry, their small squad depth. They’re doing excellently well and I understand not changing a winning team too much. I do get that.

“I think there are going to have to be opportunities coming up, whether it be in Europe because they’re doing so well. Can they change the squad? Can they rotate and give players a little bit of a rest?

“They will need to because coming up into this Christmas period, it’s very difficult. All footballers will tell you that.

“It’s a real hard, tough period of football where it’s constant. So you have to rotate, you have to change. Hopefully, David Moyes will be able to do that.

Antonio, 31, has started all 14 of his matches in all competitions for West Ham already this season and was also recently handed his Jamaica debut.

The forward has an impressive seven goals and four assists, with six of his goals coming in the Premier League.

In other news, West Ham working on a deal to sign an “exceptional” striker in January ahead of Liverpool.