West Ham Complete £23m Arnautovic Deal


West Ham United completed the signing of Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City this afternoon for a club record fee of £23m, the Guardian reports.

The Hammers moved swiftly to land the 28-year-old Austrian international after their £16m bid was rejected early last week. With the problems the east London club had in landing signings last summer, the speed of tying up this deal will please manager Slaven Bilic.

West Ham struggled in front of goal last season and while Arnautovic is not a prolific scorer, he’s netted 28 times in 154 appearances for Stoke City since joining them in a £2m deal four years ago. Previously with Werder Bremen and Twente Enschede, his career average is a goal every six games.

Despite finishing 11th, Bilic saw his side struggle in front of goal, netting just 47 times in the Premier League last season. Leading scorer was Mikhail Antonio with 9 in 37 games from midfield.

Arnautovic isn’t the answer to that problem on his on, hence the Hammers moving to bring Javier Hernandez back to the Premier League. Combining the Austrian with the 29-year-old Mexican international will ease the pressure on previous club record signing, Andre Ayew, 26. He managed just 6 goals in an injury-interrupted season.

Bilic will hope that the arrival of other attacking players gives the former Swansea City striker all the support he needs as the club seek to finish in the European places.