Michail Antonio names the toughest defenders of Premier League to play against

During an interview on The Footballers’ Football Podcast, West Ham striker Michail Antonio was asked to name the toughest defenders he has faced in the Premier League, relays the HampshireLive.

The 32-year-old was quick to mention Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk as the first choice, followed by Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu, whom he also found incredibly challenging to deal with.

Michail Antonio admitted: “Definitely Virgil. He has everything, he has it all. Everyone says it. Pace, strong, good on the ball, always in the right position. He’s definitely the hardest.

“But I’m going to throw in another person and that’s Salisu, he’s like a rash mate! He is like all over you. This guy didn’t give me an inch. Wherever I went he was all over me, elbows in my cheek, everything. It was annoying!”

The last encounter between Antonio and Salisu was in October, during a match that ended in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s Stadium. While Salisu played the entire game, Antonio was only brought on as a substitute in the 87th minute.

However, Antonio has previously scored against Salisu, during a Boxing Day match in 2021. Despite his goal with a header in the 46th minute, West Ham suffered a 3-2 defeat against Southampton at the London Stadium.