Michail Antonio has one final chance to make Premier League history at Leicester.
The West Ham wing-back has scored six headed goals this season and has 11 of them in the calendar year, equalling the record set in 2010 by Tim Cahill when he was at Everton.
But he has not nodded one in since November 19, and must rise to the occasion away to the reigning champions on New Year’s Eve if he is to hit new heights.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic said: “It’s already a hell of an achievement.
“Every time I turn to my staff and ask who has scored a goal, they say it is always Antonio when you didn’t notice. He is a big player. He deserves everything and is always there to score goals.
“I wouldn’t say we taught him to score. It’s his sheer determination, his hunger. He is a great example and a great motivation for young kids. There are other players, like Jamie Vardy. He is brilliant.”
The record in one season for headed goals is held by former Everton centre-forward Duncan Ferguson, with nine in 1997-98.
But Antonio, who wants to play on the left wing, has been deployed as right wing-back as well as an attacker.
“He is very versatile and that is why we got him,” explained Bilic of the player signed from Nottingham Forest for £7million in September 2015 following spells in the lower divisions at clubs including Colchester, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Cheltenham.
“It’s for the team.
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“His best position? First I would say centre-forward, because he scores goals. But then again he is very good on the wing.
“If we play three at the back, he is there so he can play right wing-back — especially in a team that is attacking.
“He doesn’t like to play right-back, but he has the ability to do it. But you have to keep him close to the box when we have the ball because his stats are unbelievable.
“If you take him away from the box, you will lose his goals. That could be 10, 15, 20 goals a season – nobody wants that.”