Marko Arnautovic insists that he has matured, despite the transfer saga that plagued West Ham United throughout January, per Kronen Zeitung (via Sport Witness).
The Austria international attempted to engineer a move to China at the turn of the year but was ultimately convinced to stay, signing a new contract with the Hammers.
Arnautovic has been at the centre of the biggest saga at the Irons since Dimitri Payet’s dramatic mid-season departure.
The striker very nearly moved to the Far East, instead signing a deal that includes a £45million release clause that can be triggered by any interested party in the summer.
He has started one game for the club since in the 4-3 win over Huddersfield Town, and was booed when he was substituted for Lucas Perez.
And he has now made the incredible claim that he has more maturity about him, despite a farcical turn of events under Manuel Pellegrini.
He said, via Sport Witness: “This “Bad Boy” thing will follow me for a long time.
“I used to do things without thinking twice before, today it’s different. I have matured enormously, both as a person and in sports. You just get older and smarter.
“Of course, the family contributes a great deal to this, and my agency Next Sports Marketing has also always given good advice on the side.”
Supporters are likely to bust a gut laughing at these quotes.
Arnautovic has cut a sulky figure since January and is clearly not happy with his lot at the London Stadium.
But he maintains that he puts a great deal of thought behind his every move now.
That, simply, cannot be true; had he decided to think his actions through in January he would not be sitting on the bench quite so often.
Instead, Pellegrini has put his foot down. Arnautovic is set to be out of the team for a while and he is likely to push for a move once again in the summer.
Has he matured? It’s doubtful.