(Photo Credit/Source- HITC)
As the Gonzalo Higuain deal to Chelsea looks to be stalling, Maurizio Sarri will be looking at alternatives to bolster his attacking options, and one recent name that has come up today is Marko Arnautovic.
This move will most likely happen if Chelsea fully pull the plug on the Higuain deal, and that could be looking likely after Higuain made some comments after the SPAL game, where he hinted at committing his future to the club. Also tied in with the fact that according to the Metro, Milan have little interest in signing Morata from Chelsea- the Higuain to Chelsea deal looks unlikely, and therefore Arnautovic is being lined up as the alternative.
Bleacher Report have reported today that the Austrian is on Chelsea’s radar, and therefore a move is planned this month.
So i am going to weigh up whether Arnautovic to Chelsea would either be a good or bad move, if the Blues pulled this deal off.
Pros of Arnautovic moving to Chelsea
- He is already Premier League proven- Arnautovic has been in the Premier League now for a while now. Formerly of Stoke and now with West Ham. So this would be a benefit to Chelsea to sign the Austrian over Higuain, because he is Premier League proven and Higuain isn’t. So signing Arnautovic may be less risky than going for Higuain.
- He is a quality player on his day- Chelsea fans know this too well… He has a habit of scoring against Chelsea when he played for Stoke! And only last season for West Ham, he scored the winner in the London Derby against Chelsea at the London Stadium when his goal was enough for West Ham to beat Antonio Conte’s Chelsea by 1 goal to nil.
- He is better than any of Chelsea’s current strikers- Arnautovic is arguably better than Morata and Giroud, so having the Austrian would be an upgrade in Chelsea’s attack.
- He is a Premier League goalscorer and creator- In his whole Premier League career so far with Stoke and West Ham. Arnautovic has scored 38 goals in in 170 appearances. He also has 31 assists to his name too in his Premier League career- showing that he is also a creator aswell. But this season so far for West Ham, in 14 appearances, the Austrian has 5 goals.
- He is younger then the alternative target- Marko Arnautovic is 29 years old, whereas Higuain is 31 years old, so Arnautovic has more years in front of him compared to Higuain, which could be a factor for Chelsea when they choose who to fully pursue.
- He is a good short-term option but also can be used in the long-term- Arnautovic signing for Chelsea in January is more realistic than Icardi signing for Chelsea in January. Arnautovic would be used as a first choice striker ahead of Morata and Giroud for the rest of the season. But at the end of the season, Chelsea could try and upgrade and get someone like Icardi in the Summer, and if that happens then Arnautovic will be the second choice striker. Now just imagine at the start of next season our two striking options could be; Icardi as first choice and Arnautovic as second choice… That would be some striker force!
Cons of Arnautovic moving to Chelsea
- His injury record is a little bit worrying- Arnautovic this season has been injured quite alot, and has only recently returned to West-Ham’s first team. So the fact that the Austrian has been injury prone this season may put some Chelsea fans off.
- He’s not the big name that most Chelsea fans want- Some Chelsea fans would want us to be more ambitious in January and may prefer us signing someone like Icardi, or Cavani or Higuain over Arnautovic, just because they may have more European pedigree compared to Arnautovic which is a valid point.
Verdict/What do I think will happen?
I think that Arnautovic to Chelsea would be a smart move, if Chelsea somehow manage to pull it off in the January transfer window. He is Premier League proven and would be an upgrade in my opinion on Morata and Giroud. Also he’s probably the best striker that we could get in the January transfer market. Icardi or another top striker of that calibre is more of a Summer signing.
I think that there is a real possibility that we will go for Arnautovic, but we will see in the upcoming weeks how it all unfolds…
Leave me your comments down below. Would Arnautovic to Chelsea in January be a good signing in your opinion?
Also remember to check out my Match Preview for Chelsea’s game tomorrow against Southampton on the Chelsea Echo.
By Danyal Khan