Honestly, if you told me last December that we’d be looking to upgrade the current squad to include Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart, and Marko Arnautović - I’d say you’ve been drinking.
Well, uncork the champagne as David Sullivan and West Ham United have come through on their promise for this transfer window.
#WelcomeMarko pic.twitter.com/hbytCapBe2— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 22, 2017
The latest acquisition is 28 year old Austrian international, Marko Arnautović, who for £24 million is set to immediately step into the starting XI. In fact, every single acquisition so far this transfer window has been to improve the starting squad. This is what we’re set to open the season with against Manchester United as of now:
My starting XI for next season. pic.twitter.com/TlWnXpIt2c— West Ham Zone 1895. (@whz1895) July 22, 2017
Arnie (which is what I’ll be calling him all season long here) started his career in the Dutch league with Twente, where he racked up 14 goals over the course of his final season. After a brief, and unsuccessful loan period with Inter, Arnie landed at Werder Bremen, where he began to really make a name for himself. In three seasons, he amassed 16 goals before moving on to the Premier League with Stoke City, for £2 million.
As Jackson Schmidtke reported earlier...
Arnautović will bring size and pace to the left which should complement Michail Antonio over on the right. Standing 6’3” he’ll also add another large body to an already threatening aerial squad. I can already see Manuel Lanzini whipping in corners and free kicks sending defenses scrambling to mark Arnie, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll, Kouyate, Winston Reid, Jose Fonte, James Collins, and Pedro Obiang.
Stoke City drove a hard bargain with manager Mark Hughes reluctant to sell the talented Arnautović. However, the deal seemed to be sealed when Arnautovic handed in a transfer request to leave Stoke.