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Should West Ham sell Arnautović? (Short answer: No)

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The answer may depend on your optimism about the 2018/19 season.

West Ham United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Rumors came out of Italy that West Ham was shopping massive Austrian attacker, Marko Arnautović. Having been a key player in 2017/18, eyebrows were raised.

The additions of Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson have made Arnautović expendable in the eyes of the Hammers, or so the rumor goes, and they are keen on selling him on to AS Roma or Manchester United, to name two clubs, for around 20 million euros.

There is no indication there is any truth at all to this speculation, but it does raise an interesting point of discussion: Should West Ham sell their top scorer from 2017/18?

Arnautovic is 29 years old. While having shown flashes of brilliance and Ibrahimovic-esque physical stature, production has been a bit on the inconsistent side.

2013/14: 4 goals, 7 assists
2014/15: 1 goal, 5 assists
2015/16: 11 goals, 6 assists
2016/17: 6 goals, 5 assists
2017/18: 11 goals, 6 assists

These are solid statistics, but aside from consistent assist numbers, the number of goals are on a very back and forth pattern. Remember, West Ham signed the player amid criticism for his attitude and inconsistency. Flash forward and the idea of selling him feels ridiculous.

At 29, however, there likely won’t be a better time than the present to maximize his value to other teams. He’s coming off one of his best seasons as a professional and, based on history, is more likely to have a down year in 2018/19 than a repeat of last season.

Certainly, “Arnie” has become something of a fan favorite. He was a bright spot in an otherwise dark 2017/18 campaign and seems to really fit the mold of West Ham culture, notably showing Stoke fans the crossed arms, symbolizing his new found loyalty against his old club. There is something to be said for that kind of thing.

West Ham United v Watford - Premier League Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Furthermore, he can play almost anywhere on the pitch in the attacking end, which allows flexibility that Manuel Pellegrini can surely take advantage of in his system. Not to mention the depth issues West Ham looks like it may have in the midfield could certainly be aided by keep Arnautović in claret and blue.

The argument could also be made that the team around him might be the best he’s ever been a part of and should help him reach another level of play in 2018/19. Yarmolenko and Anderson should provide an upgrade in talent in the midfield and style of play under Pellegrini should put him in positions to continue to be successful.

Will Arnautović be sold? It’s very doubtful. The rumors seem to be little more than hear-say. Perhaps, West Ham just wanted to check on the market. Perhaps, Marko’s agent is trying to get some leverage somehow. Most likely, it’s more click-bait. However, this summer has produced some encouraging signings to the squad, but we’ve yet to see many prominent exits. Marko may have the most value to inquiring teams.

If West Ham believes they can and will contend for a spot in Europe, selling Arnautović could prove detrimental. At worst, he provides a scoring option off the bench, especially with Andy Carroll on the shelf, per usual.

However, if they expect to be safe from relegation but still a bit off of the Europe spots, then maybe cashing in and planning the next investment is the way to go.

What do you think? Would West Ham be wise to cash in now on the big Austrian? Is his presence in the squad too vital to the team’s success to really entertain the thought?

Poll

Should West Ham Seriously Consider Selling on Marko Arnautović?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Yes!
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    I can see why they might, but no
    (19 votes)
  • 70%
    What is wrong with you. Heck, no!
    (83 votes)
  • 8%
    It would all depend on the return
    (10 votes)
117 votes total Vote Now