Marko Arnautovic is widely reported to be agitating for another move, with Manchester United said to be the preferred destination.
Despite another £100m spent in the summer, the summer 2017 £20m buy from Stoke, the West Ham striker not impressed with the team’s struggles this season.
Marko Arnautovic is top scorer (five goals) this season and became yet another big injury doubt for Manuel Pellegrini when hobbling off before the end of West Ham’s 4-0 hammering by Man City last Saturday.
All three subs had been used but the Austrian international was unable to continue.
On Tuesday Marko Arnautovic was reported to be a big doubt (see below) for the game at St James Park and now on Thursday morning there has been an update.
The London Evening Standard have revealed that Arnautovic has now returned to training and is believed to be ‘winning his fight’ to recover from his injury in time to face Newcastle.
It would obviously give West Ham fans a lift if their best player does start on Saturday but it is a big risk for Pellegrini to take if the forward isn’t 100%.
Like Newcastle, West Ham have what looks to be a positive set of fixtures in December, the Hammers facing non of the ‘big six’ before 2019, whilst Newcastle only have Liverpool away in their fixtures before the new year.
If he has any doubts, surely the West Ham boss won’t take any chances with Arnautovic, as he will need him for this congested December schedule of matches.
‘Marko Arnautovic is winning his fight to be fit for West Ham’s clash at Newcastle on Saturday.
Arnautovic limped off with a hip problem near the end of the 4-0 defeat by Manchester City last weekend and there were worries about his fitness for the trip to St James’ Park.
The 29-year-old has, however, returned to full training and should be available for the match.
The Austria striker has been linked with a January move to Manchester United following comments made by his brother and agent Danijel, but West Ham have said they will reject any bids for the player. Everton are also interested and the Hammers may have a harder job of keeping hold of their top scorer next summer.
Andy Carroll, who has recovered from ankle surgery in the summer and was an unused substitute against City, looks certain to be in the squad against his former club, while Jack Wilshere, who has been out for 10 weeks after ankle surgery, could also be included.’
The Mag – 27 November 2018:
It is West Ham up next for Rafa Benitez and his team.
Newcastle United having made it a trio of victories at Burnley, with four points the gap to the drop zone.
Just as Newcastle are hitting form, the Hammers have only one win since September.
That victory also coming against Burnley, West Ham winning 4-2 at the London Stadium but having to rely on two goals in the final six minutes.
The scorer of the opening goal that day was Marko Arnautovic and now the East London club’s top scorer is a big doubt for the game at St James Park.
The Hammers talisman might be moody and yet again making noises about wanting a move but with five goals so far, he is undoubtedly their biggest threat.
West Ham were taken apart 4-0 at home by Manchester City, three down in the opening 34 minutes as Guardiola’s men coasted the rest of the game.
With the game long gone and all three subs already used, Arnautovic foolishly tried to carry on despite clearly being injured, though not long before the final whistle the striker did hobble off.
He is now a big doubt for the game and would make it at least six West Ham players unavailable to face Newcastle.
The London Evening Standard have listed Winston Reid (Knee), Carlos Sanchez (Knee), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Manuel Lanzini (ACL) and Ryan Fredericks (Fibula), as all definitely missing on Saturday.
In reality, it is probably going to be eight or more West Ham players who aren’t in a proper condition to start against Newcastle.
Andy Carroll is back from his latest injury but last Saturday was the first time he’d made a matchday squad, so very unlikely he would be risked in the starting eleven.
Whilst just as unlikely is Jack Wilshere to make the team. Brought in as a free agent on massive wages, the former Arsenal player made four starts early on but hasn’t played for 13 weeks due to an ankle injury.
He hasn’t even made the bench so far, including against Man City, so despite being back in training the most the former England player could hope for is to be included amongst the substitutes.