West Ham United will be without their main man for the busy festive period.
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Marko Arnautovic suffered a hamstring injury against Cardiff City on Tuesday which will keep him out for at least a month, as the Hammers will have to do without their top goalscorer until January.
Arnautovic, 29, has been a revelation since arriving at the London Stadium from Stoke City in the summer of 2017. From January 2018 onwards he has often lined up as their lone striker, but the Austrian will now spend some time on the sidelines after suffering a few knocks in recent weeks.
“We know how important Marko is for our team,” Pellegrini said. “We have too many players injured in a month that we have to play seven games and then in January, six more games. But I always have the same answer – we have a squad and it is a chance for another player to demonstrate why they are here.”
In recent weeks Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has grabbed his chance with both hands, as the Mexican star scored twice in the 3-0 win at Newcastle United last weekend. Lucas Perez also scored a brace in West Ham’s 3-1 home win against Cardiff City on Tuesday and if others continue to step up, plus Felipe Anderson continues to create chances galore, the Hammers should be just fine without Arnie.
West Ham are now up to 13th in the table after a slow start under Manuel Pellegrini and have an extremely favorable schedule over the festive season with games against Crystal Palace, Fulham, Watford, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton their next six games coming up.
By the time Arnautovic returns they could well be pushing for a spot in the top eight.