Date: 3rd July 2019 at 11:30am
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OPINION

In any relationship, there comes a point where you have to sit down and ask yourself, are you getting enough out of it to justify what you are putting in?

Look at West Ham and Marko Arnautovic as an example.

On his day, the Austrian is a world beater – the kind of mercurial attacking talent who can turn a game upside down and inside out with a single pass or a flick of his toe.

But ever since Arnautovic started angling for a move to China in January, he has looked a pale imitation of his usual self.

He may have registered an average of 2.2 shots per game in the Premier League last season, but only 1.1 of those were actually on target. Add to that the fact that 0.6 of his 1.3 dribbles per match were unsuccessful [Whoscored], and you begin to get a pretty good idea of where the 30-year-old’s problems lie; namely in his lack of consistency.

And now it would appear that he’s up to his old tricks again.

According to the Mirror, the forward is trying to force through another move to China, and West Ham fear a stand-off with him if the doesn’t get their way.

This is quite ridiculous. Aside from the fact that Arnautovic agreed to a new deal back in January after his last attempted exit, it shows a general and deep rooted lack of respect for the club, and if he doesn’t want to be there, then move him on.

Were that to happen, however, the Hammers hold all the cards.

According to Football.London journalist Sam Inkersole, Arnautovic had a £40 million release clause written into his contract at the start of the year, but it expired at the end of June.

It’s a small detail, but it could be a masterstroke that earns the Irons millions.

Now they have no obligation to sell at any price, and they can wait as long as it may take to get a respectable fee for the Austrian.

A brilliantly shrewd piece of business.