It’s key, then, that they avoid a similar situation with star playmaker Manuel Lanzini, who has demonstrated his importance to Manuel Pellegrini’s side with a number of quality performances already this season.
Former England international Danny Mills certainly believes that tying the Argentine down to a new contract is vital for the Hammers, the BBC pundit telling Football Insider that: “When you’ve got a player of real good quality, that has the ability to play in two or three different positions, is clearly a good character, works hard, you do as much as you can to keep them.
“They need to do everything possible to keep a hold of him in these talks.”
Mills has hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the situation. West Ham have a player of great quality who is also a tremendous personality who is good for the squad, something that was sadly lacking with Messrs Arnautovic and Payet.
Lanzini is the natural successor to that duo in terms of ability, but in regards to his character he is an entirely different entity. The Argentine must be kept at the London Stadium at all costs.
Just look at how well he has done already this campaign compared to his fellow attacking midfielders. Lanzini leads the way ahead of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Pablo Fornals in assists, key passes per game, dribbles per game and average WhoScored rating per outing, as per WhoScored.com.
That tells you all you need to know about how vital he is to Pellegrini’s team moving forward. When the Hammers need some creativity, it’s to Lanzini that they turn.
With that said, the club must ensure they follow Mills’ advice and do everything they can to tie the playmaker down to a new long-term deal.