Tony Cascarino jokingly asked Sun journalist Duncan Wright whether there was anything in Sunday’s newspapers about Sebastien Haller wanting to leave West Ham.
The pundit joked that most West Ham centre-forwards want to leave the club after five minutes and even alluded to Marko Arnautovic moving to China in the summer.
“So is there anything in the paper with Sebastien Haller asking for a transfer to leave West Ham for a move to China?” joked Cascarino on talkSPORT (8:06am, Sunday, September 1st).
“As most West Ham centre-forwards want to leave after five minutes.”
Cascarino then explained his joke further moments later as he pointed out how previously Arnautovic and Dimitri Payet made quick exits after impressing at the club.
“We were saying obviously they’ve had Arnautovic, Payet and as soon as they’ve done well, they’ve wanted to get out quite quickly,” explained Cascarino.
While the pundit’s joke over Haller’s form is harmless it will surely go down like a lead balloon with many West Ham fans as it will touch a nerve.
Arnautovic was arguably the Hammers’ star man in their last two campaigns, as he scored a combined total of 21 Premier League goals across his 2017/18 and 2018/19 campaign, and he kicked up such a fuss that the club had no real choice but to sell him in the summer.
After all the Austrian handed a transfer request in July when a Chinese club bid for him, as per Sky Sports, and that was the second time he had requested his exit as he asked to leave in January which ended up unsettling the team (Source: Daily Express).
While Hammers fans were likely happy to wave goodbye to Arnautovic due to the fuss he had made during the winter window, it was still a blow to see a talented player so desperate to leave the London Stadium.
Also, Cascarino’s joke is ill-timed when you consider Javier Hernandez’s situation.
According to the Daily Mail, the Mexican forward has handed in a transfer request and while he hasn’t been prolific during his spell at the London Stadium, it’s still annoying to see high-profile players try to force through moves as it paints a worrying picture of West Ham.
Haller has been a breath of fresh air since joining the Hammers as he has scored three goals in three games, averaging a rating of 7.95 on WhoScored, and has been a threat in the air based on the fact he has won 5.7 aerial duels per game.
So it just feels like many Hammers won’t like to even joke about the possibility of the 25-year-old forward leaving the club, as they’ve been burnt before.