West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini says Marko Arnautovic can be a 'difficult' character to manage, but says he is seeing progress in the forward's maturity, after a blistering start to the season.
Arnautovic has scored four goals in six appearances so far, building on the impressive transformation in his game instigated by David Moyes last season, when he moved the Austrian international from the left wing into a central forward position.
He would go on to score 11 Premier League goals, and carry his form into the current season under another new boss in Pellegrini.
And Pellegrini says that while the forward can be 'difficult', he has seen a more mature side of Arnautovic, and thinks a season of regularly scoring goals as a striker could be the definitive turning point in his career.
“Marko has character, a difficult character, he always trying to give all of him because it is the way he feels the football,” Pellegrini told the Evening Standard. “I think because he is getting older, he is controlling himself more, so I hope we will not have any problems.
"I had seen the last season what Marko did as a number nine, of course. I think that was important for him to continue in the same position, not to change him. Marko needs a complete season, scoring the way he did in part of the last season."
Arnatutovic will look to bring his impressive recent form with him to Brighton this evening, as West Ham look to continue climbing the table after recovering from a difficult first few games with wins over Everton and Manchester United.