Carlton Palmer has exclusively told Football FanCast that he would advise West Ham United not to re-sign Marko Arnautovic during the January transfer window.
The former England international believes that Arnautovic would prove to be a problem in the dressing room at the London Stadium if re-signed just a year-and-a-half after leaving The Hammers to join Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG in a £22.5m deal.
West Ham have been linked with a move to bring the 31-year-old back to the club this month as Moyes looks to improve his squad ahead of the second part of the season.
The Hammers agreed to sell Arnautovic in 2019 after feeling let down by the Austrian when he revived efforts to force a move away from the London Stadium by stating that he had no desire to remain in England after the Irons rejected a £19m bid.
Palmer believes Arnautovic has burned too many bridges in east London to make a comeback so soon, even if supporters may welcome him back.“Problem in the dressing room” – Exclusive: Pundit issues warning on £9m-rated WHU linked star
“I wouldn’t take him back. He left under a cloud and, for one, I think that would be a problem in the dressing room. I think he was a fan’s favourite and I think the fans would forgive him, but players aren’t so forgiving,” Palmer told Football FanCast.
“So, I don’t see that. If you saying to me you’ve heard sources of that, I would find it very difficult for Moyes to do that. And I would think the owners of the football club feel that they were held to ransom to let him go. So I’d find that very difficult for him to go back there.
“And why would he want to go back there when he’s done what he’s done to the club to get out there? He created all kinds of problems to get out the club, so why would he want to go back there?”
The Hammers granted Arnautovic his wish and sold the forward to SIPG despite their own issues with his move as then-manager Manuel Pellegrini and the club’s players and staff wanted him out, even though those in charge at West Ham believed that the deal was terrible business for the club.
Arnautovic’s brother, Danijel, had accused the Irons of treating the £9m-rated forward like a “commodity”, and said that they were “using” the 31-year-old in the same manner as a cow or horse being taken to the market.
Arnautovic had scored 22 goals in 65 games for West Ham before joining SIPG, including 11 in 26 matches under Moyes following a successful switch to a more central role having been initially signed from Stoke City as a left-forward.
West Ham are currently short on goalscoring attackers, with Jarrod Bowen (4) and Michail Antonio (3) trailing top-scorer Tomas Soucek (5) after 17 games.