This season has largely been a positive one for West Ham United thus far, but there have certainly been a few Hammers players who have fallen slightly below their usual standards.
Chief amongst those who fall under that description is playmaker Manuel Lanzini, who hasn’t been bad but is not quite yet at his sparkling best this time round.
Irons correspondent Sam Inkersole recently called on the Argentine international to do more, writing on the Football London website: “An inconsistent campaign so far. When he’s on his game he is one of the best around but we simply don’t see it often enough. Has an excuse that he is still fully recovering from his serious knee injury last year but that won’t last much longer.”
Inkersole is 100% right in what he says, while that last sentence is particularly prevalent. The 26-year-old missed much of the last campaign due to injury, but did return with a couple of months to go.
Since then he has been playing fairly regularly, yet still hasn’t quite reached his top level. So, yes, the injury is a factor. But Inkersole is right, it’s not something that will protect him forever.
He’s not been awful this term, far from it, but we know he can do so much more. Andriy Yarmolenko has been the attacking midfielder starring of late for the Hammers, not Lanzini or Felipe Anderson.
The statistics tell us that he’s doing fine, but not amazing. As per WhoScored.com, Lanzini is averaging 1.4 shots and 2.4 shots per game, while he has completed 2.6 successful dribbles per outing.
However, he’s managed just one assist and no goals. That’s simply not good enough. He needs to provide more of a cutting edge, because he’s not quite fulfilling the incredible talent he has at the moment. With that said, Inkersole gets his verdict spot on, here.