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West Ham could repeat Arnautovic masterclass with Souttar

West Ham have been linked with Stoke City defender Harry Souttar recently and his potential arrival at the London Stadium could see the Hammers repeat their 2017 masterclass of Marko Arnautovic.

According to the Daily Record, West Ham, Wolves and Leicester City are all keen on signing the 24-year-old after his standout performances for Australia at the World Cup in Qatar, with the Potters reportedly valuing the defender at £25m.

The former Fleetwood loanee had been sidelined with a long-term ACL injury for much of 2022 but recovered in time to join up with Graham Arnold’s side in Qatar, and would play a huge part in the Socceroos reaching the round of 16, before their defeat against eventual winners Argentina.

The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell was full of praise for the young defender after he helped Australia to a vital 1-0 win over Tunisia in the group stages.

Campbell said: “Big Harry Souttar. An absolute monster of a defender. Huge, quick, can head it and is also fairly comfortable on the ball.”

West Ham’s last signing from Stoke City also proved to be something of a monster, with Arnautovic winning the hearts of West Ham fans and the hatred of opposition supporters during his time at the club.

He would join in a club-record deal in 2017, incidentally also for £25m, and would go on to make 66 appearances for the Hammers, contributing an impressive 22 goals and 12 assists.

The Austrian forward wasn’t short of critics but he is one of few strikers to join West Ham to impress in recent seasons and given he hit double figures in the league in both seasons he had at the club, David Moyes would surely love a player of his quality now, given their current struggles in front of goal.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes before the match

1. West Ham kicked off 2022 with an away win against Crystal Palace. Which player scored a brace?

Although Arnautovic and Souttar are obviously very different players in terms of their position, both are extremely physical players, with the defender standing at an impressive 6 foot 6, which also makes him a huge threat from set pieces.

Considering eye-catching additions from Europe such as Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta are yet to really justify their fees, Moyes might be better going for a player well-accustomed to the physicality of English football by signing Souttar this month, as he could be the ideal man to have at the back in any relegation scrap this season.