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Go For It Bilic – This £20m Stoke City Attacker Could Be An Epic Signing For West Ham United

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Marko Arnautovic
Marko Arnautovic

Why Marko Arnautovic Can Be A Good Signing For West Ham United

West Ham United have had a £15million bid rejected for Stoke City star Marko Arnautovic, according to reports from the Sun. It is understood that Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is a huge admirer of the 28-year old and is willing to splash out £20million for his signature, with a bigger bid expected from the club soon.

The report also claims that Arnautovic has submitted an official transfer request to the Potters, with interest rising in the Austrian forward from the likes of AC Milan, Everton and French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

It is not hard to see why West Ham are looking at the 28-year old. The Hammers had a pretty torrid season last time around and ended up finishing 11th when many expected them to be challenging for European spots following a highly impressive 2015-16 campaign, where they had ended up in a club-record 7th place.

One of the biggest reasons for them failing to kick on from that season was the lack of goals, with Bilic’s forward line drawing blanks on regular occasions. This inability to find the back of the net consistently is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed.

The Hammers have a strong attack that comprises of the likes of Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew. But with Antonio spending most of the season on the treatment tables and Ayew unable to get going, a lot of pressure was on Lanzini to deliver the goods. Last summer arrival, Sofiane Feghouli also struggled to make an impact.

 

They had also brought in Robert Snodgrass in January to replace Dimitri Payet, who departed for Marseille, but the Scotland international failed to translate his early season form for Hull City at the London Stadium.

Add to that a set of injury-prone and misfiring strikers at the top, it was obvious for anyone to see that things needed to change.

Arnautovic has established himself as a key member of the Potters’ setup since he moved to the club from German outfit Werder Bremen back in 2013. Till date, the Austrian international has managed to notch up 145 appearances for Stoke, scoring 26 goals in the process.

He had his most productive season in 2015-16, where he managed 11 league goals from 34 games, helping Stoke to a upper-half finish in the table. Last season, he did go through a lean patch, scoring just 6 goals and registering 5 assists in 32 league games.

While he may not have had the best of the seasons last time around, Arnautovic will still be a marked improvement on the likes of Ayew and Feghouli. He brings that x-factor to the attack, an added bite, and aggression. With him on the pitch, there is always a chance of something happening, as he has that knack of scoring or creating from nothing. And add to it, his versatility – Arnautovic can play anywhere in the attack, it will provide Bilic with great variety.

A player with proven pedigree in the Premier League, with good pace, tactical astuteness and a robust physicality, Arnautovic, in many ways will bring almost everything that the West Ham attack missed last season. And at 28, he is hitting his best years and can perform at the top level for the next three years at the very least.

With Feghouli on the verge of an exit to join Galatasaray, space will be opened up in the squad. Arnautovic seems like the right man to fill that spot for the Hammers. He may not be the biggest star, but he certainly has the experience and the ability to make a big difference for the Londoners next season and they should be gunning to sign him at the earliest.

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