Manuel Pellegrini is considering selecting Marko Arnautovic for today’s clash with Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, whufc.com reports.
Arnautovic has not started a match for West Ham since his January transfer saga, where he angled for a move to China (The Times).
But after last weekend’s lacklustre display against Cardiff City, Pellegrini might change things up for another game against a relegation-threatened side today.
The Marko Arnautovic dilemma
After pushing for a West Ham exit, Arnautovic performed a u-turn, insisting he was committed to the club and he even signed a one-year contract extension.
But since then, he has made just four substitute appearances and has not started for the Hammers. Pellegrini is clearly proving a point to Arnautovic: no player is bigger than the team.
However, the problem that remains is the fact that the Austrian is West Ham’s best centre-forward. With 19 goals since his summer 2017 move from Stoke City, it is clear that Arnautovic possesses the biggest goal threat.
His role as a bench warmer has left the 29-year-old unsettled and he could seek a move this summer, as per The Daily Mail. Unless he gets one more chance.
Manuel Pellegrini on Marko Arnautovic
Arnautovic is ready for today’s match against Huddersfield and could be in line for his first start since early January, Pellegrini said.
Pellegrini told his pre-match press conference (quotes via the club’s official website): “Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he had the option to go to China.
“Then he returned and didn’t work for about a week, so he needed time to recover his performance. After that, he was sick.
“He was going to start against Manchester City but he felt bad that day. There’s a lot of reasons why he was starting on the bench, but I think he is ready to return in his position.”