When Marko Arnautovic signed for Inter Milan in August on a season-long loan, it was hardly unfamiliar territory for the Austrian. He spent a year with the Nerazzurri in 2009-2010.
While he played a largely peripheral role in manager Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning team that year, it led to his move to the German Bundesliga where his career really started to take off.
Wherever he’s been, Arnautovic has a proven eye for goal. He came of age at Stoke City, playing 145 times for the Staffordshire outfit.
His 26 goals are even more impressive. This given he operated in a wide position, leading to an impressive 32 assists as well during his time at the Potters.
Arnautovic’s heroics for the Premier League minnows saw him make a move to West Ham United a year prior to Stoke’s relegation to the English Championship.
The Midlands club hasn’t looked like returning to the top flight since he left. There’s little hope they will do so this year either with bookmaker Betfair having them as an outsider for promotion at 6/1 in the latest EFL Championship odds.
Unsurprisingly, the three sides that dropped out of England’s top division last season – Leicester, Southampton, and Leeds – are all tipped to go straight back up again.
How Inter Milan Striker Marko Arnautovic Moved From Winger To Centre-Forward
Under manager David Moyes at West Ham, Arnautovic was encouraged to swap the wing for the centre-forward position. He thrived there, hitting the net 22 times in 65 appearances for the Hammers. He also picked up 12 assists.
Since leaving the Premier League five years ago, he has scored 45 times in 97 games. That includes two years in the Chinese Super League with Shanghai Port.
He netted on his debut in China in a 2–2 draw with Chongqing Dangdai Lifan. Similarly, when he moved to Bologna in August 2021, he scored on his debut against Ternana. In the first round of the Coppa Italia.
Now he’s back at Inter and he’s got an important role to fill. The team needed a reliable number 9 and one that didn’t cost a lot of money.
Arnautovic, while now 34 years old, still has plenty to offer. Indeed, it was his 10 goals in 21 Serie A appearances last year that caught the eye of the Nerazzurri.
That and the fact he’s got the better of his early-career petulance, which saw him sent off four times. His last red card came in 2018.
What Inter Milan has got is a far more mature player. Arnautovic, who has 108 caps and 34 goals for his country, has a physical presence the Nerazzurri need upfront. He also has plenty of guile for a forward.
Meanwhile, although his pace might not be what it used to be, his understanding of the game ensures he’ll get his fair share of assists too.
It’s no surprise that on his Serie A debut for Inter Milan this season he picked up an assist in the 2-0 win over Monza.