Manuel Lanzini continues to impress as West Ham jewel rediscovers his best form since a cruciate ligament injury

Manuel Lanzini continues to impress as West Ham jewel rediscovers his best form since a cruciate ligament injury

Manuel Lanzini was one of West Ham’s best players up until his devastating cruciate ligament injury in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup.

The Argentine missed the tournament and most of the following season as a result. He managed to score one goal on the final day as the Hammers finished on a high with a 4-1 win over Watford.

But Lanzini then struggled for minutes in the 19/20 and 20/21 seasons, managing only one goal between them. Dubbed ‘the jewel’ by the West Ham faithful, there was fear among many that he would never shine as brightly on the field again.

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However, he is showing glimpses of rediscovering his best form in the first half of the 21/22 season.

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The 28-year-old has registered six goals and two assists in 24 appearances in all comps, including three goals in the first two victories of 2022. He continued his fine form with a solid display against Norwich as West Ham won 2-0, playing in a deeper role after Soucek and Noble were unavailable for selection.

In a recent interview with West Ham TV, Lanzini said: “I’m feeling good personally in my body, not just in football but also in my life. I’m feeling very good. I’ve not had an injury for a long time so that gives me confidence and I’m feeling good.

“I started the year very good. But more important is for me to help the team and score goals and win as it’s important for our confidence, so we need to keep it like this.”

Lanzini’s early West Ham career

The former Al-Jazira midfielder was a key player for West Ham before his 2018 injury. He was signed by Slaven Bilic during the club’s final campaign at the Boleyn Ground in 2015/16, where he enjoyed eight goal contributions in 26 Premier League appearances.

He then developed into a fan favourite as he helped the club adjust to moving stadiums, scoring eight goals in a tricky season at the London Stadium. Following up with 14 goal contributions as the Hammers avoided relegation in the 17/18 campaign.

Lanzini’s return to form is good news for West Ham. The club are flying high in the Premier League, have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

With games arriving thick and fast, injuries and absentees through COVID, as well as the loss of key playmaker Said Benrahma to AFCON, the versatility the Argentine offers is a huge benefit for David Moyes’ side right now.

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