After the fiasco with Romelu Lukaku and nearly a dozen names being mentioned for his slot on the team, Inter finally put pen to paper and signed Marko Arnautovic from Bologna. While many talented young strikers were being discussed, such as Balogun, Scamacca, and Beto, along with a few more experienced players (Morata and Taremi), the team was unable to come to financial terms with any of their clubs. With the season fast approaching and the pool of available strikers dwindling, Inter went back to look at the footnotes of their history book to find a seldom-used player from their most historic, winning team.
There is no sense in trying to hide the fact that this is a very anti-climactic acquisition since the team was expecting it to be Lukaku, and when that didn’t pan out, the fans were expecting a flashy signing to make us all forget about what transpired as the former league MVP was secretly negotiating with their most hated rival.
However, all is not lost with the acquisition of Arnautovic if he can remain healthy. Back in 2010, when he was on loan from FC Twente, Arnautovic only saw the pitch in 3 games and failed to find the back of the net. But since that time, he has become a much more effective striker tallying double-digit goals in league play in both of his West Ham seasons and again in both seasons at Bologna. Last season, Arnautovic scored 10 league goals in 21 appearances (18 as a starter) and exceeded his expected goals (xG) of 7.17.
What can Inter expect from Arnautovic? He is a tall, physical player who is good in the air and should do a good job in hold-up play. With Inter’s strong midfield and wingbacks providing service, he should surpass Dzeko’s 9 league goals last season and possibly top Edin’s 13 league goals in the 21/22 campaign.
With practically no preseason training with the club, the most important thing to watch over the next month is if Arnautovic can build good chemistry on the pitch with Lautaro and the midfielders. If so, the acquisition will have been worth it. If not, then we will all be thinking about all the other what-if scenarios.
What are your thoughts on Marko Arnautovic? How many goals do you think he will contribute this season?