David Moyes wants to develop Michail Antonio into a ruthless goalscorer for West Ham and be as influential as Cristiano Ronaldo has been during his career.
Antonio, who became West Ham’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer last month, has scored five goals in as many games this season, including a first in Europe against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
West Ham will be without the suspended Antonio – initially signed from Nottingham Forest in 2015 as a winger – when they host Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
“I hope that we can turn Michail Antonio into a killer of a goalscorer because Ronaldo started as a wide player and ended up becoming a terrific No 9, so I hope we can do the same with Michail in the years to come,” Moyes said.
Portugal captain Ronaldo who is back at Old Trafford 12 years after concluding his first spell, has scored three goals in his opening two games for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Moyes added: “Ronaldo is an excellent player. It has brought another level of excitement to the Premier League and we will do everything to keep him quiet [on Sunday].”
United are unbeaten in their opening four league games this season, winning three, and Moyes is impressed with the job Solskjaer is doing, despite the Norwegian remaining without silverware into his third full season in charge.
“Manchester United will always have to be competitive, trying to win trophies, trying to win the Premier League. That is what that club does,” said Moyes.
“From that point of view, I think they have given themselves a great chance. They have got a really good balance of youth and experience in their squad now.
“I think Ole has been given a real good chance to build a squad and a team. I have got to say I think he is doing a good job. He has certainly got a team which is more than capable this year of winning the Premier League and once again being competitive.”
Moyes, who was sacked as United manager after just 10 months in charge in April 2014. has restored his reputation in his second spell in charge at West Ham, leading the club back into Europe for the first time in 15 years.
Asked whether he reflected back on his short-lived tenure at United, the Scot added: “Yes, I do. I see it as a huge opportunity to manage the biggest club in the world. I don’t blame anybody bar myself.
“I needed to win more games. If you manage the biggest club in the world then you have to win the games and unfortunately, I didn’t win enough games.
“OIe is doing a really good job. I think all managers at any club would always ask for some time and if you can get that chance then it certainly helps you build your squad and let you put your thoughts over to your team.”