Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan has slammed West Ham United attacker Marko Arnautovic and called on the club to sell him.
The 30-year-old was linked with a high profile move to China in January and proceeded to demand a move away, which ultimately never came to fruition.
BBC pundit Whelan isn’t impressed with him: “If he was my teammate, I would want him out,” he told Football Insider. “Where’s he been since January? Sulking and going missing in action. Get rid of him, he’s a disgrace.
“His lack of professionalism has made him West Ham’s weakest link. You can imagine the rest of the players looking at him and thinking, ‘if you want to go, then go’. Sure, he’s a very talented player who’s a real handful for defenders when he’s in the mood. But you can’t rely on him. Get him out.”
The Arnautovic situation is a strange one at this point. There was clearly a big money offer for him in January, but that is surely off the table now. You can’t imagine a team paying £45million or whatever it is for a player who’s in his thirties. That just doesn’t happen, unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo – and Ronaldo Arnautovic ain’t. So does that mean the Hammers simply have to swallow their pride and keep him around? Probably, yes. To be honest, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing at this point. He’s still a very effective Premier League player on his day, as he showed against Southampton on Saturday. He scored twice in a dominant performance, which makes the timing of Whelan’s outburst slightly strange. He is right in much of what he says, Arnautovic has indeed been sulking for months, but it’s probably just best for the team to keep hold of him at this point.