Mark Saggers urged West Ham United to cash in and sell Marko Arnautovic this month.
The striker appeared to wave goodbye to the fans in the London Stadium on Saturday as rumours of a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League begin to gather momentum.
West Ham held on to beat Arsenal 1-0 in the early kick-off, but looked decidedly less dangerous once the Austrian went off.
Although a move away from east London looks likely, talkSPORT host Mark Saggers urged the club to sell the forward and trust Manuel Pellegrini to re-invest in the squad straight away.
The Chilean boss spent more than £100million in the summer window and has built a squad capable of potentially making a late surge for the Europa League places.
And Saggers believes the Hammers should back him this month once they get rid of their talisman.
He said: “You’ve got a player here and, yes he might be a bit moody, but on his day is a match-winner for West Ham United and that is absolutely vital.
“The only other thing that I would think away from the fan base looking at it with the manager – and I have always thought Pellegrini is a sharp manager, whatever anyone else has said about his age I don’t think that matters.
“If they get £50million and if Gold and Sullivan are going to realise the ambition of the manager and give him that money back, I feel that his contacts will be such that he can bring in one or two players for that sort of money that he knows will play for him and that might not go to West Ham otherwise.”
West Ham have struggled to find a consistent goalscorer under the ownership of David Gold and David Sullivan – despite parting with large transfer sums.
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Should they fail to get a replacement for Arnautovic, they will be left with Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll as the only recognised senior strikers in the squad.
Which is why they must be bold and buy once again, according to Saggers.
He continued: “Andy Carroll is on the treatment table every month basically of every season and they haven’t got anyone else to fill Arnautovic’s boots at the moment.
“But I don’t think Arnautovic or his brother care, as I have mentioned, about that whatsoever.
“So you have got to get shot of him because, if you bring in somebody else that you know you have got to bring in anyway, I think Arnautovic looks to me like the sort of player that if he’s not the main man he gets the hump.”
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