Stoke Chairman Reveals Disappointment After 'Resurrected' Marko Arnautovic Leaves for West Ham
Stoke chairman Peter Coates has revealed his disappointment at Marko Arnautovic leaving the club for Premier League rivals West Ham.
Arnautovic joined the Potters from Werder Bremen after spells at Twente and Inter Milan and managed 26 goals in 145 appearances for Mark Hughes' side, persuading West Ham to splash out £25m on the Austria international.
After the 28-year-old was given improved terms last season, Coates argues Arnautovic should have shown Stoke respect by ignoring the Hammers' advances and staying at the bet365 stadium.
"We are disappointed in him personally and [with] the people around him. We resurrected his career. Our manager and coaches worked very hard to improve him - and they've done that. They made him a name in the game.
"Last year we put so much effort into giving him a long-term contract which was supposed to be it, and first thing we get in the summer he comes back and wants to leave.
"So yes, we are very disappointed but the team is more important than the individual."
Arnautovic managed six goals and five assists last season as Stoke finished 13th in the Premier League, two places below West Ham, and the winger believes his new club have shown more ambition than his former side.
“I wanted to join West Ham because for me it’s a bigger, more ambitious club,” Arnautovic said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
“We can see that with those signings and the players already in the club. We have a perfect team. Now we have to show that on the pitch.”