Why West Ham could struggle to keep Arnautovic in January if things don’t change
West Ham are still without a point in the Premier League this campaign after the newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers inflicted a defeat on the Hammers last weekend. The defeat at the hands of Wolves has left Manuel Pellegrini’s side pointless and rock bottom in the table, casting doubts just like last season, that the London club could be involved in the relegation battle.
The Hammers spent sky-high in the summer transfer window and made a positive move by appointing Premier League-winning manager, Manuel Pellegrini. Defeat in four successive games in the league has made Pellegrini’s side the only club in the country without a point on the board.
However, despite such crisis, the Chilean manager’s job appears to be safe but Marko Arnautovic’s future could be up in the air in January. Arnautovic, 29, has started the season strongly by scoring two goals.
The Austrian became West Ham’s star man last term when he was shifted to a central role by former manager David Moyes. The Scot’s decision raised a lot of eyebrows but eventually, it yielded massive results as Arnautovic went onto score 11 goals and provided six assists that helped West Ham avoid relegation.
Arnautovic, who joined West Ham for £25m, made the centre-forward role his own last term and played with a certain kind of swagger, fearlessness and confidence. It wasn’t just the goalscoring that impressed many but his work rate and desire to compete was on a different level altogether.
The Austrian held the ball up well, bullied defenders with his strength, allowed his teammates to join the attack and put players on the dead with his explosive pace.
Arnautovic is a player who makes his presence felt, but he has been really underwhelming this season even though he has scored West Ham’s only two goals. That took the Austrian’s Premier League tally to 13 in his 35 appearances for the Hammers since joining the club last season.
Arnautovic, however, still remains the club’s most influential player and the onus remains on him to turn around West Ham’s fortunes after the international break. But the hot-headed former Werder Bremen man just cannot save the Hammers from the crisis all alone and would need heavy support from his teammates.
If the situation doesn’t change and turns sour as the season proceeds, it would be very difficult for West Ham to keep hold of their talismanic figure in January should an eye-catching offer comes in January.