West Ham United have been rocked by recent reports which claim Marko Arnautovic is edging towards the exit door, but a recent report suggests that the club’s hierarchy are looking at an ideal replacement to fill the void left by the Austria international.
Indeed, Manuel Pellegrini will be feeling frustrated after Arnautovic’s brother and agent revealed Marko is intent on leaving the club (via talkSPORT), just at the precise moment in which the Chilean appeared to be taking the club a step forward.
But the presence of an unhappy player will not do Pellegrini any favours in his endeavour to push West Ham up the table towards the top-six, so he may be forced to accept his departure this month.
Sanctioning his sale, though, will leave the Hammers short of a clinical centre-forward, so it’s no surprise that they are expressing an interest in Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, according to Sky Sports.
Wilson will naturally command a premium price considering both his relative importance to Bournemouth’s future and reported interest from Chelsea, but if the Hammers are able to negotiate a considerably more reasonable fee than the £75 million which has been quoted by the Daily Star, there is no doubt he would be a perfect replacement for Arnautovic.
There are plenty of similarities to be drawn between Arnautovic and Wilson: both players are blessed with electric pace, a strong physical presence, excellent link-up play and a prolific eye for the back of the net.
Perhaps the main difference between the two players is their respective heights, with Arnautovic standing at 6’3″ and Wilson just 5’11”. But that is not to say Arnautovic’s aerial ability is considerably superior, far from it infact; Wilson has scored three headers this season to Arnautovic’s zero (as per Whoscored).
The domineering styles of play which both players showcase on a weekly basis, featuring touches of swagger often verging on arrogance, are exactly what managers expect to see from their star centre-forward, and the extra touch of self-confidence Wilson offers would ensure a seamless transition into a post-Arnautovic era.
The £60,000 per week attacker (as per Spotrac) would surely bag a significant increase to his current salary and have the opportunity to shine at a bigger club if West Ham come calling for his signature, so Bournemouth’s asking price is likely to be the only stumbling block to a potential deal.
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