Michail Antonio to switch England allegiance to Jamaica to play at 2022 World Cup

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Michail Antonio to switch England allegiance to Jamaica to play at 2022 World Cup

Antonio to switch to Jamaica

Michail Antonio has decided to switch allegiances from England to Jamaica in order to play at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Despite being called up to the England squad on a number of occasions, the attacker was unable to secure a senior cap. An injury after being opted for by Gareth Southgate in 2017 prevented Antonio from doing so.

‘Michail Antonio was withdrawn from the squad after being assessed by both the Hammers’ and the England medical teams and will remain at Rush Green during the international break,’ read a statement from West Ham at the time. This marked the last occasion on which he joined up with the Three Lions squad.

Prior to this, Antonio was named in Sam Allardyce’s squad during his brief stint as England manager.

Since then, the number of English strikers available to Southgate has increased exponentially. Although Antonio has maintained good form in the Premier League, the likes of Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings and Marcus Rashford have all continued to play at a similar, if not higher level.

Antonio rejected Jamaica

Antonio will now join Jamaica, whom he rejected in 2016. The Hammers star had hopes of a call-up to the England squad, however it failed to work out for him.

“Jamaica called but if I keep doing what I’m doing hopefully I can get an England call,” said Antonio in 2016, after being bought by West Ham.

Michail Antonio to switch England allegiance to Jamaica to play at 2022 World Cup

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Michail Antonio of West Ham United looks dejected during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Burnley at London Stadium on March 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

“You can see it with Dele Alli, he’s come from League One and he’s already in the England squad. You see it with Vardy. Hopefully I can get the call-up as well.”

Antonio will join up with fellow Premier League players Michael Hector and Bobby Decordova-Reid as well as highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, on Jamaica’s books.

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, one of the MLS’s highest rated shot-stoppers, adds further quality to a team who are continually improving. They could yet provide an upset, should they reach the 2022 World Cup.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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