First it was Adama Traore and now it’s Marko Arnautovic.
Two players with differing skillsets and operating on opposite sides of the field – and yet there remains one key similarity between the two widemen linked with moves to West Ham United.
And that’s how their potential arrivals could impact on the future of Robert Snodgrass this summer.
Snodgrass’ struggles at the London Stadium have led to links to newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion, but also Championship outfits Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland and Aston Villa.
His arrival preceded the departure of Dimitri Payet to Marseille in January and rather unfair expectations were placed upon a player who arrived as the star player in a struggling Hull City side and was immediately thrown into the thick of things.
But for various reasons the move has just not worked out for the Scot, who openly bemoaned the fact he was made to vacate the left-sided attacking midfield position Payet flourished in during his debut season at the club.
Having primarily operated from the right flank at Hull, all of a sudden a player with little pace was expected to compensate for the loss of creativity that Payet’s departure created.
With Manuel Lanzini the crown jewel in Slaven Bilic’s attacking trio behind the main striker, Snodgrass failed to fit in and with Michail Antonio due to occupy one of the other attacking midfield positions, Snodgrass’ opportunities could be limited with the arrival of a new winger.
Bilic has prioritised pace as a key attribute he wishes to find in a new player this summer and that explains the link to Adama Traore at Middlesbrough.
Traore’s end product leaves plenty to be desired but could improve under Bilic’s tutelage and his raw pace is particularly appealing to the Hammers boss, while Arnautovic adds the trickery and technique if not quite the same explosive power of Traore.
Arnautovic would be the kind of signing who excites the fanbase in a way Snodgrass has regrettably failed to and if Bilic succeeds in bringing in a new wide player, it surely puts the writing on the wall for the 29-year-old’s future.
It should be added that Snodgrass has never once kicked up a fuss about his inability to nail down a first-team place and judging by comments from earlier this summer, is intent on forcing his way back into contention this summer.
“We’ve had a couple of chats,” he said.
“We’ve spoken about my position but then the lads have done really well so I’ve had to bide my time.
“I’m a realist, I understand football and situations in the game. I’ll keep working hard as I always do, striving to get that run of games and wanting to prove I can score goals and kick on.
“West Ham is a massive club and I want to do well. I want to create the same sort of feeling I’ve had at every other club. I want the fans to see this lad means business. I just need to get that chance.”
Sofiane Feghouli’s proposed move to Galatasaray may offer him a reprieve but you get the impression if West Ham are successful in bringing in a new winger in the mould of Arnautovic, Snodgrass’ hopes of making that breakthrough may yet be short-lived.