The West Ham United supporters have not always seen eye to eye with the club’s owners in recent times, but the relationship was far healthier in the summer of 2015.
Indeed, there was a feel good factor in east London after the Hammers dismissed Sam Allardyce and appointed Slaven Bilic to replace him, and the optimism at the club was further enhanced by an intriguing move into the transfer market.
One of West Ham’s owners, David Gold, used his personal Twitter account to officially confirm that the club had completed the signing of little-known Manuel Lanzini on a season-long loan deal with the option to buy the following summer.
Despite the fact the Argentine arrived without any prior experience in European football, the supporters could not contain their delight and heaped praise on Gold for concluding a deal.
— Adam Downey (@AdamDowney1) July 22, 2015
— West Ham Fans Sweden (@SwedishWestHam) July 22, 2015
@davidgold do we have an option to buy? This boy looks mustard.
— Gavin Beyer (@gavarno74) July 22, 2015
— Adrian Smith (@adiesmith64) July 22, 2015
@davidgold cheers boss!
— Roger -J (@Roger_J_coyi) July 22, 2015
@davidgold great business being done this summer. Best for a LONG time. Thank you
— Freddy (@2_hip_2b_square) July 22, 2015
Lanzini lived up to the hype which surrounded his arrival with a series of compelling displays in central midfield and as a number ten on his debut season which earned him a permanent switch in 2016.
The 5’7″ playmaker has used nimble footwork, speed, agility and incisive vision to great effect in the majority of his 99 appearances for the Hammers, scoring 20 and assisting 15 in the process.
Much to the dismay of the supporters, Lanzini will spend the majority if not all of the current campaign sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury and there’s no doubt that his absence has already been felt this season.
The 25-year-old played an instrumental role in West Ham’s survival bid last season as he combined with Marko Arnautovic to provide flair in the final-third, and without him they may well have finished perilously close to the relegation zone.
Lanzini still has plenty of scope for improvement but there’s no doubt that he was an absolute steal at just £10.8 million.
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