Why West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic could be right to demand a move to China- but should be honest about it


This week it has emerged that West Ham’s best striker Marko Arnautovic has demanded that the club listen to an offer from an unnamed Chinese club who have come in for him and offered West Ham £35m.

This is a bombshell for The Hammers given that they have no quality back up to replace the Austrian who has scored 7 goals in the league this season and saved the club almost single handily against Brighton a few weeks ago with a brace.

Arnautovic has been a breath of fresh air who has really stood out at the club for the past year after his move from Stoke and his height has caused all sorts of problems for opposing defenders. But is he right to want a move to China?

In China it has been reported that he could earn £10m a year over a four year contract meaning that he is guaranteed £40m and that doesn’t even take in all of the freebies and luxuries he will get over there together with any bonuses. At West Ham once we take away tax he is earning about £2.5m a year, so in four years he would earn what he could in one year.

Of course this situation seems grotesque given that Arnautovic even with a deduction of tax still takes home nearly £200,000 a month- that would take the average worker in England 10 years to earn. However this is the crazy world of football and the Austrian’s thinking has to be that he will be 30 soon and his career at the top is winding down- what does he have 3 or 4 years at the top at the most?

The problem then isn’t that he wants away- although a little bit of commitment and passion would be a good thing in today’s game. No the problem lies with his excuse for going- to win trophies. This claim seems a little far fetched. True if he went to China it would be for the best team that may well win league titles and cups in China- but with all due respect nobody would have these wins at the tip of their tongue the next time you play a football quiz.

Arnautovic is more than likely going for the fantastic wage and at his age he could end up earning quite a retirement package. It feels wrong that he wants out but at the same time if you look at the situation from his point of view it does actually make sense.

As for West Ham, they seem backed into a corner- they cannot give Arnautovic such a pay rise but they do have the player under contract. The problem there is that we have seen in the past that contracts mean very little and the player usually ends up getting what he wants. The fee of £35m seems scant too for a club who paid £20m for him. That £15m profit is reduced because as part of the deal his former club Stoke would be good for £7.5m, and so West Ham would only end up making a profit of £7.5m on a player they really can’t afford to lose.

It does sadly for The Hammers look like he will be going. The key for them is simply holding onto him until the summer, lose him now and it doesn’t look like they will have the time or find the quality in January to replace him.


Seedorf appointed new manager of Shenzhen FC

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Clarence Seedorf has been appointed the new head coach of Chinese second division side Shenzhen FC, according to the BBC.

The former Netherlands midfielder, who was capped 87 times by his country, succeeds Tang Yaodong with Shenzhen lying eighth in China’s 16-team League and takes on his first managerial role since leaving AC Milan in June 2014 after being in charge of the Rossoneri for five months.

Seedorf’s glittering career as a player

During a highly celebrated playing career, Seedorf became the first player to win the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs, Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan, whilst he made 431 appearances for Milan and helped them win 10 trophies, as outlined below.

- Serie A (2): 2003-04, 2010-11
- Coppa Italia (1): 2002-03
- Supercoppa Italiana (2): 2004, 2011
- Uefa Champions League (2): 2002-03, 2006-07
- Uefa Super Cup (2): 2003, 2007
- Fifa Club World Cup (1): 2007

As well as winning two Serie A titles with Milan, Seedorf also won league Championships in his homeland, Spain and Brazil with Ajax, Real Madrid & Botofago respectively.

Shenzhen job presents significant challenge to Seedorf

The legendary Dutchman inherits a Shenzhen’s squad is almost made up entirely of Chinese players, with the exception of the French centre back Helton, the Senegalese strike duo of Babacar M’Baye Gueye and Aboubakar Oumarou and Deshorn Brown, who is a Jamaican forward.

In taking over the managerial reigns at Shenzhen, Seedorf becomes the third European to manage the club in their 22-year history, with his predecessors being the Cypriot Sinisa Gogic and Phillipe Troussier of France.

Since Shenzhen are currently both six points and six places outside the promotion places in China’s League One, Seedorf faces an extremely difficult task in trying to guide the club to back into the Chinese Super League for the first time since the 2011 season, when they were relegated under Troussier.

Ultimately Seedorf’s appointment will undoubtedly further raise the profile of Chinese football and attract more interest in the game from around the globe.