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Marko Arnautovic Branislav Ivanovic: Forward has outgrown Stoke

Mark Arnautovic's ability has outgrown Stoke City, according to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic believes Austria star Marko Arnautovic has outgrown Stoke City in terms of his ability.

Ivanovic will come face to face with Arnautovic when Serbia host Austria in a World Cup qualifier in Belgrade on Sunday and the 32-year-old does not need anyone to tell him who will be the visitors' main attacking threat.

Although he only has one Premier League goal for a struggling Stoke side this term, Arnautovic netted twice in Austria's 2-2 draw with Wales on Thursday and Ivanovic feels the former Werder Bremen man could play for a bigger club.

"I have the utmost respect for Arnautovic because he has matured in the last year and a half or two," he told a media conference.

"He has drawn a lot of attention here [in Serbia] because of his heritage [he has a Serbian father] and in footballing terms, he has perhaps improved beyond the quality of the club he plays for.

"We have to close him down and if we do, we have a good chance of keeping a clean sheet."

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