Why Marko Arnautovic is the maverick Manchester United need

  • The Hammers striker will fit seamlessly in Jose Mourinho's team.
Sharan Pillai
Modified 01 Dec 2018, 17:40 IST

Will we see a reunion at Old Trafford soon? (Photo credit: Mundo Deportivo)
Will we see a reunion at Old Trafford soon? (Photo credit: Mundo Deportivo)

After a splendid first season at West Ham United, Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic has been linked with a move away from East London in the upcoming winter transfer window.

According to a number of media houses, the team that has the highest chance of signing his services is Manchester United.

In this write-up, we will discuss why it would be beneficial to both the ex-Stoke dynamo and The Red Devils to see a reunion between Marko Arnautovic and Jose Mourinho.

A goalscorer

Over the last two seasons, Arnautovic has been involved in 23 goals for West Ham United, clocking up 16 goals and 7 assists for the Hammers since joining them from Stoke City.

His goals per match average compared to United's main striker, Romelu Lukaku, is also impressive. The Austrian's goal per match average is 0.45, while the Belgian has a 0.33 goal per match average.

The Hammers frontman is also more rounded, with six of his 11 goals last season scored using the right foot and five 5 with his weaker left foot. In Lukaku's case, the Red Devils frontman scored eleven times with his left foot, and just twice with his right.

The only thing that the Belgian beats the West Ham star in is his aerial ability. Even in terms of pace, Arnautovic's top speed is 34.77 kilometres an hour, while Lukaku's top speed of 34.6009 kilometres per hour is narrowly beaten by the Austrian.

The creative spark

The Austrian can become a promising attacking prospect for United
The Austrian can become a promising attacking prospect for United

Arnautovic, who has played as a wide attacker through most of his career, was only moved into the striker position in his ongoing stint with West Ham.


Because of this, he is still more of a winger or attacking midfielder than an out-and-out striker. He continuously drops back to help the midfield operate, and yet, he still has the ability to come back into the striker position whenever necessary.

In some ways, this makes him more effective than some world-class strikers and attackers. This is yet another reason for Manchester United to sign Arnautovic, as Mourinho likes his front line to track back, something which has severely constrained their strikers, most of whom prefer to hover at the front.

Arnautovic would be a perfect fit for the Portuguese manager in this respect.

The fearless mindset

West Ham United v Burnley FC - Premier League
West Ham United v Burnley FC - Premier League

Ever since Zlatan Ibrahimovic left Manchester United for LA Galaxy in early 2018, Manchester United have really lacked that zing and self-confidence in the dressing room. Arnautovic can very well solve that problem.

The Austrian dynamo has never lacked self-belief is considered borderline arrogant, something that might be useful for a United squad, which currently seems low on morale.

The Red Devils have been criticized severely by everyone including the press, club legends, and even their own manager. If Arnautovic joined, then his fearless, confident mindset could easily rub off on the others, just like what happened with Ibrahimovic while he was with the Red Devils.

The final word

Will he be in United colours soon?
Will he be in United colours soon?

Arnautovic would be a spectacular signing for Manchester United, as he seems to fulfil almost everything that a perfect Mourinho signing needs to be. Also, he excels at doing certain things which United's current players cannot do very well.

Also, due to the recent injury to Alexis Sanchez that will keep him out for a lengthy time period, the signing of the Austrian starman will effectively fill the void created by the Chilean's absence.

In fact, Manchester United's pursuit of Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic might actually end if they sign Arnautovic, as he is effectively the same mould of footballer as the Croatian, except Arnautovic might be cheaper.

This being said, Ed Woodward and the United board is should go all out to sign the Hammers man, who can fit into almost any of the Premier League's "Big Six".

Published 01 Dec 2018, 17:40 IST
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