West Ham co-chairman David Gold has boldly claimed that Michail Antonio is the most exciting player in English football.
The likes of Manchester United recruits Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba are set to vie with Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, Riyad Mahrez, Alexis Sanchez and others for the spotlight in what is sure to be another entertaining Premier League campaign.
West Ham themselves boast one of the stars of last season in the form of Dimitri Payet, who proved a huge hit following his move from Marseille in June 2015.
Powerful wide man Antonio, a former Reading and Sheffield Wednesday player, arrived at the Hammers from Nottingham Forest in September last year, catching the eye sporadically with his direct running and physicality as the team finished seventh under Slaven Bilic.
He scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday, West Ham’s first league victory at the London Stadium.
But those flashes of talent were surely not enough to justify the improbably high praise Gold has directed at the 26-year-old, who is yet to be capped by England.
“There is nobody in English football that’s more exciting than Antonio,” he told talkSPORT.
“I think he is a special player. He’s been playing at right-back.
“He hates playing there but he plays for the team and the manager but he’s now been pushed back to [a] wing role, attacking winger.”
Antonio’s next opportunity to live up to Gold’s billing will come when West Ham visit Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.