Manuel Pellegrini has explained why star forward Marko Arnautovic has only received minutes sparingly since the turn of the year.

The Austria international has been one of the Hammers’ most consistent and best performers since signing from Stoke City in 2017, and has led the line well for the London club during his time at the London Stadium.

However, since a proposed January switch to China fell apart, Arnautovic has found his game time severely limited, despite having committed himself to the club.

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Arnautovic wanted to move to Shanghai SIPG in January, and with West Ham having rejected a bid, the 29-year hasn’t seen himself in the starting line-up since February.

The Chilean coach revealed that there have been a number of reasons for Arnautovic’s absence, including illness and concerns over his headspace, but the Premier League winning manager confirmed he would be soon be back, when he is deemed ready.

Pellegrini also said that the Austrian would likely make a return to the playing eleven, if he is ready to contribute to the team.

Talking prior to this weekend’s game, Pellegrini said:

I am just thinking about this season.

Marko was out of the team for several reasons, his mind was out when he had the China option, after that he didn’t work for one week.

After that he was sick, he was going to start at Manchester City.

If he is ready then he will return to his position.