Fit-again Lanzini could be the spark we’ve been looking for…

The midfielder has looked back to his best after a full pre-season behind him

When the diminutive Argentine Manuel Lanzini joined the Hammers in 2015 few had heard of him.

He arrived to link up with Slaven Bilic on an initial season-long loan from the far east and the West Ham faithful were forced to trawl through YouTube clips of the youngster to see what little gem the Croat had bought.

After an impressive loan where the former River Plate youth player linked up so perfectly with Dimitri Payet in that magical final year at the Boleyn, it was deemed an absolute no brainer to bring him to the east end of London permanently. Since that ink dried, he has been one of the most crucial players for the Irons.

The little playmaker is often at the heart of everything good going forward for West Ham and if there is a flowing move leading to a wonderful goal you can be sure that he was involved in it somewhere along the line.

Now into his fourth season in claret and blue, we hope he will remain at the London Stadium for many years to come.

After large spells out last season the Argentinian international seems back to his best.

Bagging goals in pre-season as well as being involved in Javier Hernandez’ opener at Brighton the signs are looking promising for the Hammers, who so dearly missed his creativity at times last season. With the 26-year-old now back to full fitness, Pellegrini will hope the Argentine international will form a partnership with Pablo Fornals or Felipe Anderson similar to that of the one he so wonderfully developed with Payet at Upton Park.

Pellegrini and Husillos have built an intimidating attacking line-up, and it will be hoped that Lanzini will be at the heart of it.

While, you could critique that perhaps the Hammers are too top-heavy, the idea of Fornals, Haller, Lanzini and Anderson is an exciting prospect and one that is sure to get the faithful to the edge of their seat at the London Stadium.

Perhaps the most important thing Manuel brings to the table is his versatility, and that skill will prove all the more crucial for both the Hammers and Lanzini.

The number 10 will, of course, still harbour international ambitions, and with the stacked Argentine attacking playmakers perhaps it would be of interest to Lanzini to play that deeper role for the Irons, of course, he still has plenty of learning to do in that role but it certainly an option for the Argentine.

With Jack Wilshere still to get back to his best, perhaps understandably so given the prolonged lay off he has suffered, Lanzini may be forced to come deep to begin his playmaking efforts.

Indeed, the goal he set up for Hernandez at the Amex started at the half-way line working in tandem with Arthur Masuaku before threading through a wonderful pass through to the Mexican; these are the types of moves the management staff and fans will be wanting to see more and more of from him.

He is now perhaps more important than ever, the Irons are attempting to stop their ‘selling club’ mentality and keeping a player of his ilk for a prolonged period of time, alongside the likes of Declan Rice and Issa Diop can only be a good thing for the future of the club.

He is one of the older statesmen at the club, which may seem odd given the fact he is only 26 years of age, but he has been around for a while now and has become an established member of the club.

Whether he will be around until he retires remains to be seen, a few more seasons like his maiden in claret and blue will have clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and co sni ng once more, but there is only one man that makes me happy, and there ain’t nobody like him.

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