West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has suggested that Marko Arnautovic will return to the starting XI for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town.
Pellegrini told reporters, as quoted by West Ham’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.”
Arnautovic has scored seven times in 21 Premier League appearances for the Hammers during the 2018-19 campaign.
The 29-year-old has not played the full 90 minutes of a league game since the start of January, though, with a number of issues cropping up.
Pellegrini has admitted that the speculation surrounding Arnautovic’s future – amid interest from China – was a problem, whilst the Austrian has also suffered with fitness concerns and illness over the last few weeks.
Arnautovic is a huge player for West Ham, though, and Pellegrini’s words suggest that the striker will be back in the XI for the clash with Huddersfield.
Well, most importantly, goals and assists. Arnautovic has contributed 19 goals and 11 assists in 58 games for West Ham in all competitions.
Considering he is not a natural centre-forward, those are highly impressive numbers.
Former Wigan & Fulham man, Jimmy Bullard recently showed that he’s still got it! Check out the video below…
Javier Hernandez has struggled to make a serious impression as the starting striker in recent weeks and there is no getting away from the fact that Pellegrini’s side are better when Arnautovic is in the XI.
West Ham will be looking to bounce back from their defeat at Cardiff City last weekend when they welcome basement side Huddersfield on Saturday, before ending March with a home game against Everton.