David Moyes must unleash Manuel Lanzini over West Ham United’s hectic festive schedule to afford the Argentine midfielder one final chance to save his London Stadium career.
According to Claret and Hugh, the Hammers are yet to receive any offers for Lanzini ahead of the January transfer window despite putting the 27-year-old up for sale.
Lanzini is among an array of unwanted players the Irons are looking to move on in the winter market as they look to raise funds for a pursuit of AFC Bournemouth striker Joshua King.
Moyes has afforded the five-cap international just 332 minutes of game time across all competitions and is yet to hand Lanzini a start outside of the Carabao Cup, with his longest Premier League appearance of the campaign lasting only 18 minutes.
The Irons boss had backed Lanzini to re-establish himself at the London Stadium earlier in the year, noting how the serious knee injury that ruled the £12.6m-rated maestro out of the 2018 World Cup could be seen as nothing but a blip in his career.
“When I had him the first time, he was terrific. No doubt, the injury has had an impact on where he is in different ways, but I don’t see it as a reason for him not to get back to those levels. His training has been improving and he’s got competition and he realises that. He’s not the number-one pick,” Moyes said in October.
While Moyes was echoing belief in Lanzini only two months ago, the midfielder remains no closer to re-establishing himself in the first-team with the 27-year-old’s game-saving wonder goal against Tottenham Hotspur the only highlight he can recall.
Moyes stated West Ham were “really crying out for Manuel Lanzini” back in January, but that is far from the case now with the Scottish coach overlooking the Argentine for any involvement in seven Premier League fixtures including last Friday’s win at Leeds United.
Instead, Said Benrahma was drafted in to play in behind striker Sebastien Haller after a late injury for Arthur Masuaku forced Moyes to deviate away from the five-man defence West Ham had begun to favour.
Lanzini would have seen his hopes of featuring smashed with Benrahma excelling at Elland Road, but Moyes must look fondly on the Argentine in the coming weeks with West Ham set to play five games in the next 18 days, including London Derbies with Crystal Palace and Chelsea plus a trip to Everton.
It will prove to be Lanzini’s final window to impress Moyes and verify why he still deserves a future in claret and blue, while even mediocre displays will put him firmly in the shop window ahead of the winter market.