When West Ham signed Marko Arnautovic in the summer of 2017, it wasn’t immediately met with support from fans.
The club had spent a record fee for a player that was as temperamental as he was talented. The question loomed as to whether he was worth his £25m price tag.
With just over one season spent at the London Stadium, the Austrian is proving that he is worth every bit of his price tag, and more.
The forward bagged 11 goals and six assists last season in 31 appearances, earning himself the Hammer of the Year Award. He looks to have started this season in similar fashion, already scoring three goals and notching one assist in five outings this year.
In fact, in 2018 alone, only one man has had a hand in more goals than the Austrian- Mo Salah. The Egyptian has contributed towards 23 Premier League goals, while Arnautovic has helped towards 16. Nonetheless, to be second to a player who had one of the best seasons in recent memory last year is testament to how well the 72-cap international is playing.
A lot of credit has to go to The Hammers’ owners David Gold and David Sullivan. The businessmen had the foresight to see the importance of this signing, regardless of how fans initially reacted. The fact that Arnautovic’s previous club, Stoke, got relegated the season after he left is a further indication of how important he is to any team that he plays for.
After West Ham’s first win of the season on Sunday, they will hope to kick on with their season, and Arnautovic will spearhead that charge.