The rumours of a potential Arnautovic departure have certainly shaken up the West Ham fan base in recent weeks, leaving plenty for us to discuss.
Having quickly established himself as the club’s leading man, it’s come as a surprise to many to hear his brother/agent come out and say he’s looking to leave.
Initially, this looked like a ploy for a pay rise, however given Arnautovic’s wave to the fans as he was taken off against Arsenal, and Antonio confirming he wants the move to China… it looks as though it’s a real possibility.
So, is the £35 million offer from Shanghai SIPG an attractive offer?
Personally, I don’t believe you should value a player on their age or on the profit you have made. Instead, the value they bring to the club and whether you could sign somebody better for the money in discussion is the deciding factor in my eyes.
Arnie is currently playing well, and is an absolute nightmare to play against. There aren’t many in the world who bring the strength, goalscoring ability and general bastardry which Arnautovic demonstrates… let alone within a £35 million (minus Stoke’s sell-on fee) budget.
On the other hand, struggling with his knees, there is no denying that Arnautovic is a 29-year old whose performances will most likely decline before the end of his contract, at which point, the option of a nice sum of money will be off the table.
The next question is… what really is the value of a long-term contract if the player can accept an increased wage and still leave as soon as they want? Do contracts still have the same power?
Players have more power than ever before, with contracts meaning significantly less. Once a player comes out and says they want to leave, the damage is often irreparable leaving the best option to let them go.
Marko’s brother has said that as long as he is a West Ham player, he will continue to give 100%… but can you truly give 100% if your heart isn’t in it?
The last thing we want is another toxic situation with a player wanting to leave. ‘He who can’t be named’ proved exactly what can happen… fans turn, you can lose the dressing room and negativity can quickly spread. However, the badge on the front is bigger than the name on the back and these kind of things can truly unite a fan base.
Pellegrini has been building something truly brilliant since he joined West Ham and I trust he’ll make the right decision for the club. He said: “When you have such a high offer everyone wants to leave, but he has a contract here. If I say the player must stay, the player will stay. If it’s a good deal for both parties, we will arrange to be without Marko.”
With both Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande now rumoured showing interest… we could even be about to witness a bidding war.
Only time will tell. Would you get rid of Marko for £35 million? If not, why?
Looking forward to reading your responses,