West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern suffered something of a setback earlier this summer when influential midfielder Manuel Lanzini sustained a knee ligament injury, one likely to keep him out for some time.
The 25-year-old was preparing to go to the World Cup with Argentina when he suffered the injury in training, one that immediately ruled him out of the competition in Russia. In fact, reports earlier this month suggested that Lanzini could be set to miss as much as 15 months of action due to the injury, thus giving new Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini plenty to think about heading into the 2018/19 Premier League season.
However, Lanzini himself has perhaps just conveyed the best news West Ham fans are likely to hear all summer, by suggesting on Twitter that he could well be back in action as early as the start of 2019 following successful surgery.
Some English media have said that my injury will make me miss next season, that there were problems with the surgery… none of this is true. The surgery went really well. Although I don’t want to set a date, I expect to be ready to play at the beginning of 2019. Thank you pic.twitter.com/MAl19duPHq
— Manuel Lanzini (@manulanzini) June 27, 2018
Ultimately, the 25-year-old has become one of the club’s most integral players in the last few years, effortlessly stepping into the shoes of Dimitri Payet to become the Hammers’ go-to man over the course of the last 18 months or so.
The Argentine scored five goals and laid on nine assists for the East London side last term to underline his importance in the middle of the park for the Premier League club, with no other West Ham player laying on more assists than the exciting Argentine.
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And his efforts rightly earned him a place in his country’s squad for this summer’s World Cup, only for injury to cruelly rule him out of the finals in Russia. And based on Argentina’s efforts so far, they could really have done with Lanzini’s intelligence in the attacking third of the pitch.
And that injury had threatened to completely spoil the next 12 months or so, with various reports suggesting that the midfielder could be set for between six months and a year on the sidelines – one earlier this week from The Daily Mirror suggested a 15-month lay-off.
Unsurprisingly, those reports didn’t go down particularly well among our resident Hammers fans in the Tavern, but there is no doubt that his own admission that he could be back at the start of 2019 has completely changed the mood among those West Ham fans lining up at the bar.
Clearly, Lanzini is a huge part of this West Ham team and thus likely to play a key role in their future success – the less amount of time he spends out with injury, the better for Pellegrini and his side.
Thus, while there is much optimism among Hammers supporters that big deals could take place this summer, there is little doubting that this recent update from Lanzini could well be the best news they hear all summer given how influential and integral he is to the East London outfit.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!