REUTERS: West Ham United’s Marko Arnautovic is fit for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur but manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Thursday the forward’s knee problem will have to be managed carefully.
Arnautovic has played through the pain barrier after he injured his knee in last month’s 3-1 win over Everton. The 29-year-old scored the winning goal for Austria in their 1-0 Nations League win over Northern Ireland last week.
Pellegrini said he was happy to have his top scorer with four league goals back in good condition for the home game against their fifth-placed London rivals.
“Marko is okay. He returned from internationals where he played just one game and worked with the squad without any problems,” Pellegrini told a news conference.
“We must be careful about his knee but it is okay… it allows for him to play games.”
Pellegrini dismissed media speculation that he is looking to boost West Ham’s forward line in the January transfer window, with reports in Italy saying Roma striker Edin Dzeko was a potential target.
“You can talk about five, six or seven players that are linked with us. We must not talk about one player,” Pellegrini added. “I know him well but we are not thinking about that at the moment.”
West Ham are 15th in the table and lost 1-0 to Brighton and Hove Albion in their last game.
“We were very unlucky not to take something from Brighton, but if you don’t score the chances you have you normally lose the game,” Pellegrini said.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)