The Chalkboard: West Ham fans shouldn’t fear the departure of Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic looked like a man waving goodbye when he left the London Stadium pitch on Saturday, but the performance of Samir Nasri should have fans excited for the future even if “Arnie” never puts on the shirt again.

The Chalkboard

West Ham grabbed their sixth win in their last nine Premier League games on Saturday, and it was due in no small part to the influence of January signing Nasri.

The crafty 31 year-old signed for the Hammers this month, and made his first start in Saturday’s 1-0 win.

While fans are no doubt fearing the worst over the possible exit of Arnautovic, the creativity and flair of Felipe Anderson, Nasri and forgotten man Manuel Lanzini will mean that Manuel Pellegrini’s side can score goals no matter who plays up front.

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Another Pellegrini master stroke

Nasri is best known for his unpredictability. The 41-cap French international has excellent vision, ball control and dribbling ability, but most importantly of all he is not afraid to try dangerous, incisive passes.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City ace created three chances in Saturday’s win over the Gunners, second only to Anderson. He also assisted the game’s only goal, and even rewarded Pellegrini’s faith with some excellent pressing and defensive work.

The free capture of Nasri already looks like a stroke of genius from the boss.

Creativity is king

With Anderson and Nasri seemingly finding to form at the same time, the Hammers’ attack will be absolutely lethal when Lanzini returns to the fold.

The 25 year-old has missed the entire season with a knee injury, but he averaged 2.4 successful dribbles and 1.5 key passes per game last season.

There’s no question that Arnautovic is a fantastic player, but with Anderson, Nasri and Lanzini all working their magic behind any number nine, the Hammers should not have too much trouble replacing the Austrian’s goals.

So, West Ham fans, how impressed were you by Nasri on Saturday? Will he, Lanzini and Anderson be lethal together? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below…