By Paul Robinson

23rd Sep, 2021 | 7:00pm

West Ham tipped to axe big-money signing against Leeds after Antonio update - pundit

Paul Robinson has tipped West Ham manager David Moyes to axe Nikola Vlasic for the trip to Leeds United on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England number one said he “fully expects” Michail Antonio to come back into the starting XI “even if he is only 80 per cent fit”.

Antonio was absent for the 1-0 EFL Cup win over Manchester United on Wednesday night having missed the Premier League meeting between the two because of suspension.

As quoted by Football.London (23rd September), Irons assistant manager Stuart Pearce revealed the striker was available but was simply not picked.

Antonio is expected to return to the starting XI when the Hammers travel to Elland Road on Saturday.

He is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with four goals and three assists to his name.

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When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs who was likely to miss out if Antonio returns, Robinson said: “I think it will be Vlasic that comes out.

“Antonio and Benrahma have started to develop a really good relationship. Moyes was taking his time with Benrahma last season. He played a bit part-role really. This season we have seen him come to the fore though and together with Antonio he is providing assists and goals.

“That is why I think Vlasic will be the one to miss out. Listen, if Antonio is fit he plays, even if he is only 80 per cent fit. I fully expect him to start against Leeds if he is fit, 100 per cent.”

West Ham signed Vlasic on deadline day from CSKA Moscow.

The Croatia international put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the London Stadium.

In other news, pundit has shared an ‘honest’ verdict on West Ham after a surprising transfer reveal from David Ornstein.