The London stadium let out a thunderous roar in the 76th minute against Fulham, one which would’ve made those outside think West Ham United had scored a goal. On the contrary, it was the return of Manuel Lanzini which arose such an ovation from the Hammers faithful. After missing a big chunk of the season due to a nasty injury, the majestic Argentine’s finally back.
If his cameo proved anything, it’s that Lanzini is raring to go and has no nerves from the nasty injury. Immediately after coming on, he paved into the thick of a West Ham attack, linking with Marko Arnautovic before sending Robert Snodgrass through the left.
He produced a sweet back-flick which later allowed his left-winger to put in a cheeky cross for Arnautovic, who had his header saved. Lanzini distributed the ball smoothly, with a 94% passing accuracy (stats via Fotmob) and also tried to get between the goals.
Every time the Hammers attack in the last minute, he found himself in a promising position. Leading up to the third goal, Lanzini took a shot on goal but had it blocked by a Fulham defender.
In what was a sizzling performance by the returning Lanzini, the West Ham fans’ delight can work against Manuel Pellegrini’s plans. Suddenly, the Argentine manager suddenly may have too many talented players at his disposal.
With the brilliant Robert Snodgrass undroppable and Felipe Anderson essential to his plans, Pellegrini needs to decide whether to tinker his system or change a winning combination to make way for his benched superstars.
Either way, Lanzini will need to be introduced if his cameo was anything to go by; and that will lead to some touch choices for the boss.
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