West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed that the players hope that striker Marko Arnautovic will stay at the London Stadium next season.
The Austrian international was on the brink of leaving the Hammers in January as part of a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League, but ultimately elected to stay put. After nearly exiting, he sent a message to fans confirming his commitment to the club, though he has struggled for form since then.
Despite the difficult period he has endured, Arnautovic looked to be back to his brilliant best with a double during the 3-0 victory against Southampton, a result that keeps West Ham in the hunt for a top half Premier League finish.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Wilshere said: "He is a top, top player. I have played with a lot of decent strikers and he has got a bit of all of them in there.
"He is quick, he is strong and he has confidence. He is a player we hope we can keep over the summer and get even more out of him as he is a big player for this team. He can help us to get into Europe next season."
Though he went through something of a barren patch over the winter, Arnautovic seems poised to claim the club's top scorer accolade, his 10 goals in all competitions matching the total Felipe Anderson has amassed.
Arnautovic - who is one of the Irons' highest earners with an eye-watering salary of £100,000 a week - has long been recognised as one of the most talented players in the league, though his attitude has often been called int doubt.
Nevertheless, he is held in such high regard by former manager David Moyes that the Scotsman recently stated that he could play for any team in the world, withsuch sentiment demonstrating what a fine footballer the 30-year-old is.