West Ham star lucky to receive England call up ahead of Southampton alternative

West Ham star lucky to receive England call up ahead of Southampton alternative

The inclusion of West Ham United’s Michail Antonio stole the headlines in the fall out from Sam Allardyce’s first England squad announcement.

Antonio is in contention to win his maiden international cap when the Three Lions face Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier next month, a feat they’re priced at a generous even-money to achieve.

The Irons winger is included after netting twice in his opening three matches, with Allardyce choosing to overlook a howler committed at Chelsea on the opening weekend when deployed at right back.

Still, his goal return alone makes the start to the season a decent one from Antonio’s perspective, but when comparing his stats with those of Nathan Redmond, the Southampton youngster can rightly feel aggrieved to have been left out.

Goals scored aside, the Saints star has recorded better early-season stats in several key fields and, at 22, he’s a superior long-term option than his 26-year-old counterpart.

Antonio has scored two goals from as many attempts on target. It’s an unsustainable return that is guaranteed to dwindle as the season progresses.

Redmond, by contrast, hasn’t had the same good fortune, but he has hit the target more often this term (boasting a 44.4% shot accuracy compared to 40%), which suggests he will prove the more lethal of the two of the course of the campaign.

With 105 passes to 75, the former Birmingham City youngster has been more productive in this department. In total, 90.5% found their mark as opposed to Antonio’s 73.3%.

Eight Southampton chances have been fashioned from Redmond’s boot too, whereas only two have come West Ham’s way courtesy of their would-be England wide man.

Defensively speaking, it’s the Hammers star who’s stronger, but it’s his attacking output that earned him this spot in the England fold and, on these grounds, Redmond can feel unlucky to have missed out.