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West Ham sold Marko Arnautovic at the perfect time

With West Ham United chasing a Champions League spot this season, one man who may be looking in from the outside about what might have been is Marko Arnautovic.

Sold for a reported £30m to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG in 2019, Arnautovic left the club with a dark cloud hanging over him, with the way he handled his exit causing real questions about his attitude and professionalism.

Despite signing a new contract with the club in January of that year, and saying that “the fans gave me the power, they gave me the energy and that’s why I have to be here and that’s why I want to stay”, the Austrian threw that all away in the summer.

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Reports claimed that Arnautovic had told the Hammers he wanted to leave, and given that he tried to force through a move away, it would be no surprise if West Ham fans don’t look too fondly upon him.

David Moyes, who once dubbed him “unplayable”, was actually reported to be interested in signing him last summer though, even despite everything that had happened.

When news emerged last May of West Ham potentially swooping for the Austrian and seeing him return to the London Stadium, Frank McAvennie blasted the idea, insisting that his presence at the club would be most unwelcome.

The 62-year-old said: “I’m against him – he’s a virus. It’s not about his playing, it’s what he left in the dressing room. I know some of the players and the stigma he left in that dressing room was awful.

“He’s someone you haven’t heard of since he’s left. All of a sudden he’s won no cups in China so he’s coming back. I wouldn’t have him and I wouldn’t have his brother anywhere near West Ham.”

Following his exit to China, a 32-year-old Arnautovic now finds himself on the books of Serie A side Bologna, who currently find themselves 13th in the league.

Despite scoring a respectable seven goals in 22 games for his new club, the clearly ambitious Austrian will surely be looking at how his former West Ham side have gone up a few levels and are competing for something he so desperately would have wanted to be a part of.

CIES now value him at just £3m, a real indication of how his career has fallen by the wayside since his exit from east London, and West Ham and GSB should be laughing all the way to the bank for the way they cashed in on him.

Meanwhile, Moyes can finally axe this man…

Article title: West Ham sold Marko Arnautovic at the perfect time

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