As the concept of the transfer window grows older certain recurring aspects have cemented themselves into footballing tradition. Harry Redknapp will give an interview through his car window; Sky Sports News anchor Jim White will needlessly be filmed arriving for work and West Ham will sign a striker or three.
Having successfully turned Andy Carroll’s loan into a permanent deal Sam Allardyce, never one to fail the game’s customs, looks to double his striker intake this summer with a move for Werder Bremen front man Marko Arnautovic.
For once, the need to replenish their attacking stocks is a palpable one for the Hammers having decided to release Carlton Cole back into the footballing wild after seven seasons of frugal goalscoring service.
Cole’s absence means the role of Carroll’s deputy is a vacancy waiting to be filled and Allardyce looks to have locked the crosshairs of his transfer rifle squarely onto the 24 year-old Austrian.
The former FC Twente man’s versatility is said to have convinced Big Sam, whose Hammers are 7/4 for a top half finish, that he’s the man to fill Cole’s shoes. Arnautovic’s ability to play on either wing as well as through the middle is an attraction with his less than striking goalscoring record clearly not worrying the West Ham boss.
Arnautovic’s time at Twente, his first club as a professional, yielded 12 goals in 44 league games before he spent a short stint on loan at Inter under Jose Mourinho. His three appearances for The Special One suggest he did not particularly impress and the Portuguese confirmed as much during an interview, claiming Arnautovic had the attitude of a child.
He currently has 70 league appearances and 16 goals to his name at Bremen but has been shrouded in off-field dramas, including suspension from the side for speeding and brawling with teammates.
A saintly partnership with Carroll, who is 4/6 favourite to be the Hammers’ top scorer, seems the natural stepping stone in Arnautovic’s career.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date.