Hughes praises Arnautovic impact

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has lauded praise on striker Marko Arnautovic for his impact in his debut Premier League season, Sky Sports reports.

The 24-year-old made the move to Stoke in a £2 million deal last summer and has become a key player for the Potters this season.

The Austrian came to the Britannia Stadium with a reputation in German football for being a controversial player but Hughes believes he has left that behind him and is now ready to be a big player.

“It’s fair to say he (Arnautovic) came with a little bit of baggage, but we were probably exactly what he needed to get out of the environment he found himself in,” said Hughes.

“German football, maybe because of a few episodes there, hadn’t taken too kindly to him.

“He’s come into an environment that appreciates him, appreciates what he can do for the team, and his personality is different and players enjoy being around him.”

The 50-year-old boss believes that the forward has grown into his role in the team and has hailed his impact at the club.

Despite only contributing three goals, the former Werder Bremen player has been a big help to the rest of the side and has made eight assists, highlighting his importance as a creative player for Stoke.

“It’s not easy to come in and have an impact, certainly as a creative player. It’s easier for defensive-minded players. When you are a creative player the onus is on you to win games and that’s more difficult,” added Hughes.

“But once he’s got to grips with it, the second half of the season has been good for the team and good for him.”

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