West Ham’s players were left voicing their discontent over the possibility of Marko Arnautovic returning to pre-season training before his move to China, according to Football.London.
The football news outlet claim that the Hammers stars, as well as manager Manuel Pellegrini, had indicated they did not want the forward back among the squad after it reportedly emerged he wanted to leave the east London outfit.
The 30-year-old has completed his move to Shanghai SIPG and the report reveals that the players were saying that they did not wish to see him return, having experienced a similar situation with the Austrian during the winter transfer window.
He might have been a mercurial talent and a talisman up front but this proves that no player is bigger than the club. The squad evidently made their voices heard after seeing Arnautovic try to fashion a move out of east London and that seems to have forced the board’s hand as to getting him off the books. A disruptive presence, no matter how talented he might be, is no good for the squad or morale around the football club and as soon as players starting voicing their concerns, the board should – as appears to be the case – have taken notice. West Ham do now face the prospect of finding a suitable replacement for his goals in the attack but with the money they have on board that should not come as too much of a challenge. What really matters is that Pellegrini and his players are happy going into next season and with Arnautovic gone, there should not be too many more distractions over their summer preparations.