After West Ham’s very busy summer, injured star Manuel Lanzini has become somewhat of a forgotten face.
New faces like Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko have stolen the headlines this season as well as fan-favourite Marko Arnautović, and have in turn pushed the West Ham 2016–17 Players’ Player of the Year into the background. West Ham themselves may have not been the greatest performers, but the players themselves have made a good account of themselves.
But very few would deny that as new manager Manuel Pellegrini’s influence grows in east London, the club are getting better and better. So much so that many pundits touted The Hammers as the best team on paper outside of the top six this season. With the mix of young players such as Declan Rice and Issa Diop thrown into the mix, this is a great team for the present and the future.
However, while there is plenty of talent in the current West Ham team, there is still definitely a place for Lanzini. The Argentinian offers something in the number ten role that very few do at the club. They have wingers, they have strikers, and they have central midfielders, but no one quite has the attacking instinct that the 25-year-old has. Jack Wilshere may have been the man recruited to do so, but not many would argue that he is more threatening than the 4-cap international.
The bonus is that Lanzini has primarily played under some fairly negative managers whilst at the London Stadium. Given the opportunity to link up with a manager with the flair of Pellegrini, and the possibilities seem endless for the pair. This could be the final piece in the jigsaw which suddenly makes West Ham a seriously dangerous club.
The Hammers will no doubt look to bring more players in during the next few transfer windows as they did this summer, but the massive bonus for the club is that they have a returning star who is likely to be better than any signing.