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Moyes raves about Arnautovic

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West Ham boss David Moyes has been blown away by striker Marko Arnautovic and the impact he has made in their fight against relegation this season. 

Before Moyes was appointed as successor to Slaven Bilic in November the Austria international was yet to score a goal for the Hammers since his £24million move from Stoke in the summer.

Since Moyes’ arrival the 29-year-old forward has transformed into the club’s Hammer of the Year, scoring 10 goals and providing five assists as they avoided a final-day relegation scrap.

In a column for the Evening Standard, Moyes said: “With Marko Arnautovic, I watched him play at Watford in that first game. We had told him that he needed to do the running but he ended up playing the game at right-back.

“I just thought that, at the stage of his career where he is now, it didn’t suit him. It’s his blistering power and pace which we needed to utilise and he has certainly demonstrated that over the past months. He gives us something different. Andy and Chicharito have varying strengths but we needed another player who could do lots of jobs and help us get up the pitch.

“Those were the main changes and they proved the catalyst for getting us up and running.”

OPINION

It is not surprising to hear Moyes praising Arnautovic so highly, with the Austrian clearly being the Hammers standout player this season. Before Moyes’ appointment the striker was seen as another expensive flop at the London Stadium, with the club having splashed the cash on several poor players in recent years. Moyes has managed to dispel any such thoughts and transform Arnautovic into the player he always threatened to be, and in the process help the club steer clear of relegation. It will be interesting to see how the 29-year-old gets on with a full season ahead of him next time round, with the Austrian sure to be aiming for the 20-goal mark, something he has never achieved in the Premier League. First though the future of Moyes needs to be resolved, with the Scot not certain to be handed a long-term deal to keep his job at the London Stadium. 

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