By Noel Whelan

14th Aug, 2021 | 5:10pm

Pundit makes 'nightmare' claim as West Ham open talks to sign Antonio sidekick

Noel Whelan has suggested Divock Origi and Michail Antonio could form a lethal partnership as West Ham hold talks with Liverpool.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker suggested the duo would be a “nightmare for defenders”.

As revealed by Football Insider (August 7th), West Ham have opened preliminary talks to sign Origi, with Liverpool open to selling.

It is understood the Reds want £15million for the Belgium international after demanding £20million in January.

Whelan claimed an attacking duo of Antonio and Origi would strike fear into the hearts of defenders.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think we’ve seen the quality that Origi brings. He can play across that front three, whether wide left, wide right or through the middle.

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“I think if you’ve got him and Antonio up front, that’s gonna be a handful for any centre-halves.

“But he does need games time, he does need consistent football to get the best out of him. We have seen glimpses of what he is capable of doing and the quality that he brings.

“I think he’d be surplus to requirements (at Liverpool). He can’t keep getting bits and pieces here and there. I think the quality that he has, he needs to be playing week in, week out.

“West Ham have targeted this player as someone that could bring some success and score a lot of goals at the London Stadium. He’s got that European experience as well which is going to go a long way.

“We’ve seen Michail Antonio can play across that front three as well. He’s got power, pace, he runs in behind, but you need options, quality and that competition for places.

“Origi, he can play left or right. You might want to play the two up front. That would be a nightmare for defenders.”

In other news, West Ham are plotting a raid for a Premier League defender based outside London.