This Liverpool Outcast Can Fill The Void Vacated By Marko Arnautovic Should He Exit West Ham
Body language experts are currently having a field day as Marko Arnautovic looks to have played his final game in a West Ham shirt.
The striker started the Saturday lunchtime clash at home to Arsenal, helping the Hammers claim a 1-0 victory as they moved up to 8th in the Premier League table, with Declan Rice’s second-half strike all that separated the London rivals.
‘Arnie’ played up until the 71st minute, when boss Manuel Pellegrini opted to replace him with fellow forward Andy Carroll.
As he walked off the pitch, the Austrian waved what could easily be taken as a final goodbye to the Hammers faithful, the strongest hint yet that he’s going to venture off the Chinese Super League.
The 29-year-old, who has scored 18 and registered eight assists in his last 36 top-flight games, signed from Stoke in the summer of 2017 and after an initial difficult start to life in East London he transformed into a fans favourite, and was named Hammer of the Year last term.
He’s bagged seven goals in 16 league games so far this season, but earlier this week the club were rocked by reports that he was set to leave for an unnamed China club for a reported £35million.
Should, as expected, he depart the London Stadium, West Ham will be eager to find a swift replacement, which could be easier said than done.
However, if they are after a forward with an abundance of Premier League experience, 76 top-flight goals to his name, and a desire to play first team football, then they should look no further than Daniel Sturridge.
Rumours are rife that the former England international could be set to exit Anfield this very window, having been restricted to only 262 league minutes this season, while he’s only completed two full league games in the last 15 months.
After a slow start to the season, West Ham have triumphed in six of their last nine top-flight games, and could well be an outside shot for a top-six spot. With the dazzling Felipe Anderson and new boy Samir Nasri supplying the creative juices, the club could well prove to be an attractive option for Sturridge.