Former Premier League goalkeeper Paul Robinson has suggested that Manuel Lanzini has not been playing to his potential following his injury problems, while his attempts to return to form have been hindered by his club’s poor recent results.
Lanzini was named as West Ham’s Players’ Player of the Year in the 2016/17 season, though after suffering a serious knee injury just before the 2018 World Cup, the Argentinian only appeared 10 times last season, while he has failed to help the Hammers battle for a top-half finish with David Moyes’ side in relegation trouble this year.
Speaking to Football Insider, Robinson feels that the midfielder has not been the same since returning to action last February, saying: “To be fair, he’s been suffering because he had a long spell out with his injury. He’s come back in and he hasn’t looked the same player. He needs game time, and it’s difficult to play like that when you’re playing in a team that’s not playing well.”
Considering Lanzini instantly became a regular member of the squad upon his return from the injury picked up on international duty, the 26-year-old appears to be rather central to the Hammers’ on-pitch hopes.
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That West Ham have not enjoyed a great season to this point may suggest that Lanzini has not been at the peak of his powers, with WhoScored’s match ratings indicating his performances over the past two seasons do indeed rank among his lowest throughout his Hammers career on average.
Therefore, it seems that Lanzini is certainly capable of doing more – with the midfielder receiving eight Man of the Match awards in the league across his first three West Ham seasons as per WhoScored, compared to only one across the past two campaigns (albeit from a mere 27 appearances).
Robinson suggests that Lanzini is not solely to blame for his own form, and considering West Ham have massively regressed since last season, that is probably a fair assessment. Having already nursed further injuries this year, the conditions for a successful personal campaign have not been great for the player, so perhaps an uninterrupted spell of games will see a return to form for Lanzini.
West Ham fans, is Lanzini your best player when on top form? Share your thoughts below!
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