West Ham's Michail Antonio claims AFC Wimbledon would not pay ‘£7 registration fee’ to sign him as a teenager

Richard Parry
Under the Hammer | Antonio would latter join West Ham for £7m: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

AFC Wimbledon missed out on the chance to sign Michail Antonio as a teenager, the West Ham star has revealed.

The South London-born England star arrived at West Ham via Nottingham Forest for £7million back in 2015, but the 26-year-old says the Dons could have got him as a teenage for less than one per cent of that fee… a registration fee of just £7.

Discussing his departure from Tooting and Mitcham, Antonio explained how he slipped through the cracks at AFC Wimbledon.

"So I had to trial for the first team [at Tooting and Mitcham]. Got into the first team. Started playing, but then they wanted me to sign a contract. I didn't want to sign a contract, so they've kicked me out of the team," he told BBC Five Live.

"Then I went to AFC Wimbledon. They didn't want to pay for my registration fee. £7…"

"I went to QPR on a six week trial. I passed every fitness test, I did everything I needed to do. Then I've gone into this reserve game, where [I was told] 'This is important, if you do well here, then you'll sign.' I scored one and set one up. They've come back to me and gone 'You ain't done enough crosses.'

"I went to Brentford after QPR. Played two games, and scored in one, set one up in the other. They said 'he's a good player, but there's other things he needs to work on, we'll keep an eye on him.'

"Within three months of that I signed for Reading. I went back to Mitcham, signed my contract, played games, and then Reading came."

From Reading, Antonio endured subsequent loan spells back at Tooting and Mitcham, Cheltenham Town, Southampton, Colchester United and Sheffield Wednesday before eventually moving to Hillsborough on a permanent deal. He would join Forest two years later, before moving to East London.

Standard Sport understands that West Ham are set to offer Antonio a new contract.

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