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West Ham may face test to keep Marko Arnautovic in January, says Craig Bellamy

West Ham could find it hard to keep hold of forward Marko Arnautovic in January if their Premier League struggles continue, according to Craig Bellamy.

The Austria international has been one of the few bright spots for the Hammers so far this season, scoring two goals from the club’s first four Premier League matches.

Arnautovic’s performances have been in vain though as Manuel Pellegrini’s side have started the season with four straight Premier League defeats for only the second time in the club’s history.Bellamy, speaking on The Debate, thinks Arnautovic could want a move away from the London Stadium in January if things are not going his way.

“I’ve always been aware of his ability but if he had one good game then he’d go missing for the next three or four,” the former Wales international said.

“When he was out wide if he had a lot of the ball then brilliant but then sometimes he’d lose interest. He frustrated because I knew there was a real player there but at times he would just look disinterested.”Credit to David Moyes, he put him up top and he’s involved in the game all the time. I’ve been so impressed with him up front. He’s the one player for me at this present moment that West Ham do have with a bit of pace and do have as a threat.

“However, he’s a volatile player as well. If it isn’t going his way come January and West Ham are struggling, he’s one player, if there is going to be interest, that’s going to test you.”

Paul Merson, who was a guest alongside Bellamy on The Debate, is also a big fan of Arnautovic and was surprised no big club took a chance on signing him during the summer transfer window.

“I’m a big fan of his,” Merson said. “I was shocked that he was still at West Ham in the summer.

“I thought one of the big boys would’ve bought him. Even if he wasn’t going to play start for one of the big boys he’s a great squad player.”

West Ham were the fifth biggest spenders during the summer transfer window, spending £98.9m to bring in Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lukasz Fabianski.

However, Merson thinks Pellegrini’s side has too many luxury players, citing the departure of midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to Crystal Palace as a massive loss.

He said: “If there was one player last season that could get around the middle of the park and hurry people up when they didn’t have the ball it was Kouyate, who has gone to Crystal Palace. And he only went for about £8m which is nothing.

“He was the one person who’d go and engage and try and get the ball back. When you watch them now and they haven’t got the ball they haven’t got anyone who can get around the pitch. They are an easy team to play against at the moment.

“They are buying players like they are a team that is going to have 75 per cent possession of the ball every week and they are not a team that do have a lot of possession of the ball. If you aren’t going to have a lot of the ball you’ve got to have people that are going to get it back. They haven’t got that and I do worry for them, I really do.”

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