Payet 2.0… Lanzini’s performance vs. Chelsea hints he can take talisman mantle

Although West Ham have hauled themselves clear of early-season relegation fears, there’s little to be overly positive about in regards to where the club are going right now.

There’s no getting away from the fact that 2016/17 will be deemed a failure on the whole given the positivity the Hammers entered the campaign with, while the Dimitri Payet saga of the January transfer window left a sour taste for fans of the club.

However, one plus has emerged in the wake of the Frenchman’s departure: Manuel Lanzini’s revival. The Argentine, nicknamed ‘The Jewel’ has thrived with the freedom he’s been afforded in Slaven Bilic’s set-up that was once Payet’s, and his performance in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea was impressive enough to create a buzz among Irons fans…

The playmaker’s 97 touches made him the third most active player on the entire pitch – no mean feat given he’s primarily a final third player – while his 70 passes with a completion rate of 89% was impressive also. On top of that, Lanzini completed the joint-most dribbles of any of the players involved at the London Stadium while he netted a late consolation goal, too.