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Arnautovic sale led to relegation, say Stoke fans

Filed: Tuesday, 8th May 2018
By: Staff Writer

Stoke City supporters have cited the sale of Marko Arnautovic to West Ham as one of the core reasons for their relegation from the Premier League.

The Potters became the first team to be relegated from the top flight this season following their 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, since when disappointed City fans have been discussing the reasons for their swift and unexpected demise.

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And one of the chief reasons cited is the sale of star man Arnautovic to West Ham last summer. The Austrian, a Slaven Bilic appointment who cost the Hammers an intiial 20million has scored 10 goals for United this season - almost a quarter of the team's 45 league goals scored in the 2017/18 campaign.

Oatcake Forum member wazbagsbro is convinced parting company with Arnautovic and not providing a suitable replacement was key in Stoke's fall from grace. "It cost us relegation and we gave him away." he said.

"If Arnie was a Swansea player they would've demanded 50million, he is one of the best players outside top six. West Ham won't let him go so cheap. We should've broke the bank to keep that kind of quality."

Thoughts echoed by theonlooker, who added: "Clubs like ours lose players like Arnautovic every season. The successful clubs replace them and move on. Our scouting and recruitment department, in my humble opinion, is complacent, lazy and frankly, not fit for purpose."

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Some Stoke fans felt the decision to sell Arnautovic was a reasonable call at the time given the size of the fee involved - but once again, blamed poor recruitment for their descent into the Championship. " Losing Arnie isn't the reason we're in this mess," wrote boskampsflaps.

"It didn't help but we had the money and the time to find a replacement and we bought Wimmer instead. You're always going to lose players eventually, it's who you get in after that's the deal breaker and we well and truly mucked it up."

A salient lesson for the rest of the Premier League, perhaps.

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