It’s been a whirlwind week in the life of a West Ham fan, as one time crowd-favourite Marko Arnautovic handed in a transfer request before being sold to the Chinese Super League for a figure reported to be around £22million.
The move sees the Austrian’s 6 year stay in England come to an end. A period that saw him spend four years at Stoke City before making a £25million move to the Hammers.
It was July 2nd when the news of Arnautovic’s transfer request broke, but it will have of no surprise to Hammers fans and hierarchy alike. The enigmatic forward has form in this area, having done the same at Stoke forcing his move to the London Stadium, before repeating it in January of this year when rumours of a £35million bid from Guangzhou Evergrande came to light.
Arnautovic uses his brother as his agent, an approach much lamented by Stoke and West Ham fans alike, with many predicting that Danijel (the brother) is behind the immature nature of the transfer negotiations with only his own financial interests at heart.
He played a total of 210 games in England, with 145 for Stoke and 65 for West Ham scoring 48 goals. A goals per game ratio of one goal every 4.3 games, a lacklustre tally for such an arrogant forward.
It does however mean West Ham are left with only two out and out first team strikers in Jordan Hugill and Javier Hernandez. Andy Carroll was released at the end of the season when his contract expired and Lucas Perez joined Arnautovic in gaining a move abroad when he moved back to Spain.
A move for Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomnez fell through over the past few days. Manuel Pellegrini looked set to add the forward to his ranks for a club record £45million, but the clubs failed to agree a payment structure and now Gomez looks set to move elsewhere.