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Charlie Austin urges England boss Gareth Southgate to consider West Ham striker Michail Antonio as Harry Kane back-up for Euro 2020


Charlie Austin believes Michail Antonio is a ‘defender’s nightmare’ and should be in contention for a place in the England squad at the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament this summer.

The West Ham striker has enjoyed a rich vein of form under David Moyes since the Scot returned to Stratford in December 2019, leading the Hammers to the Champions League places.

AFP

Michail Antonio is tipped to star for England if Gareth Southgate takes him to the European Championships

Since being converted into a centre-forward, the former winger has 23 goal contributions in 33 Premier League starts since the beginning of last season.

Despite his goalscoring prowess, the 30-year-old is yet to make an appearance for the Three Lions and is even considering switching allegiance to Jamaica.

Antonio was called up to Sam Allardyce’s one and only England squad in 2016 after a great debut season with the Hammers, but never made an appearance and has never been called up by Southgate.

But with Jamaica potentially ready to pounce, Austin told Adrian Durham on Drivetime he feels as though the England boss would be missing a trick by letting the former Nottingham Forest forward switch nationalities.

Antonio has scored twice against Manchester City, once against Tottenham and against Arsenal this season

AFP

Antonio has scored twice against Manchester City, once against Tottenham and against Arsenal this season

Austin said: “He offers something completely different; strong, powerful and can run in behind.

“He’s a defender’s nightmare! I don’t think anyone in the Premier League would like to play against him.

“He would be a long shot to get in the England side. But is he completely different to everyone else? I think so.”

With Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane likely to be the first name on the team sheet as the captain of the side, Southgate will surely be looking for an able deputy.

Harry Kane is almost certain to lead the line for England

Getty Images – Getty

Harry Kane is almost certain to lead the line for England

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has 13 goals from 22 Premier League games this season, while Patrick Bamford has also played his way into contention with a series of strong performances from Leeds.

However, when asked by Durham why the Hammers hit man was not in consideration, Austin admitted he could not believe fans were not clamouring for the striker to be included at the revised Euro 2020 tournament this summer.

He added: “He’s not there, he’s not on everyone’s lips! As much as he is performing really well for West Ham and West Ham as a team are performing really well, he is just not unfortunately someone who comes to the front of your mind.

Antonio has 23 goal contributions in 33 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2019/20 season

Getty Images – Getty

Antonio has 23 goal contributions in 33 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2019/20 season

“I feel for him because he is performing. And we will soon see in March if Gareth Southgate picks him or not.”

The England boss joined talkSPORT on Tuesday morning and admitted he would be picking players consistently performing well at the highest level.

With 12 games of this congested season remaining, Antonio and the Hammers are dreaming of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.



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