When West Ham United fans got their first glimpses of Manuel Lanzini’s talents in the summer of 2015, many would have thought that in nearly four years’ time he would be an absolute world beater.
Some members of the Claret & Blue Army wouldn’t have even believed he’d still be at the club, rather a Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or a Manchester City by now.
But he’s still in east London with one year left on his current contract and a large part of that is down to injuries, with no disrespect to the Hammers who have spent much of that time battling relegation under the likes of Slaven Bilic and David Moyes.
Whilst the 26-year-old hasn’t suffered as much as names such as Andy Carroll and Winston Reid, he’s still endured multiple knocks per season.
If they haven’t seen him miss huge clusters of games, they have disturbed his rhythm and made it difficult for the South American to find form consistently.
By far the biggest of the blows came in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup whilst he was training with Argentina, a ruptured ACL.
It would be the following February before Lanzini took to the field again as he made his first appearance of 2018/2019 and his first under Manuel Pellegrini, coming off the substitutes’ bench in a 3-1 home victory over Fulham.
Many were excited for the central attacking midfielder’s return and fans had hoped that his creative influence in the centre would help fire the East Londoners to seventh place.
On a personal note, the player himself would have been desperately hoping for a strong few months to play his way into the Argentine squad for the 2019 Copa America.
However, things didn’t quite work out like that as “The Jewel” couldn’t find any kind of form amid further injury worries and would have to wait until the final day of the season for his first goal.
Either offer Lanzini a new contract and bring an end to the speculation or cash in on the injury-prone star whilst his market value is still high. The Chilean should opt for the latter.
The Argentina international hasn’t been the same player since he returned and there was always a decent chance he wouldn’t be, given the serious nature of the huge injury.
Plus, as the ex-West Ham Players’ Player of the Year picks up more injuries and strays further and further from the attacker he once was, his value is going to drop with his quality and the club’s chances of making any profit will fade.