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​It’s Time for Lanzini to Step up and Fill Payet’s Boots

It’s Time for Lanzini to Step up and Fill Payet’s Boots

After Dimitri Payet’s resignation from West Ham and subsequent transfer back to Marseille, there is a vacancy in the squad for someone to step up and become the star of the show. Manuel Lanzini fits the bill, but he has yet to set the world alight during his time in East London.


Source: Manuel Lanzini via Facebook

Since joining the club in 2015, Lanzini has been a regular starter in Slaven Bilic’s squad. However, during Payet’s spell with the club, the Argentine was not a pivotal figure in the attack. The Frenchman was the main creator in the successful 2015-16 season, and Lanzini only managed to chip in with 6 goals and 2 assists across 26 appearances for the Hammers. His output this season has been slightly better, though, with 5 goals and 2 assists from 18 starts in the Premier League, and he has an impressive pass completion rate of 86.8%.

Although Payet had been such a key figure for the Hammers last season, the performances have actually improved in this campaign without the playmaker. While before Christmas Bilic’s position was under scrutiny and the club were at risk of being sucked into a relegation battle, the Irons are now looking up the table. At the time of writing they are at odds of 150/1 in the football betting to go down, but in early December those odds were as short as 5/1.

Since Payet’s departure, Lanzini has upped his output in the West Ham attack. In his last four appearances, the 24-year-old’s pass completion rate in the final third has risen to 88%. He has created 5 big chances and notched 2 assists. In addition to that, he has had 7 attempts on goal – with a shot accuracy rate of 42.9%. Adding to his assists and build-up play with 1 goal, the youngster has contributed to 60% of West Ham’s goals. This is a fairly impressive output, and the pass completion rate especially is up there with the best in England. To put it into perspective Eden Hazard has a 77% completion rate in the final third and Kevin De Bruyne 80.6% in the same timeframe.

Lanzini has always been recognised as a quality dribbler (see video above) as well as someone who can create plays in and around the opponent’s area, but his stats in this field aren’t quite as impressive as his top flight counterparts. Since Payet left, the starting XI Lanzini has completed 60% of dribbles, while De Bruyne and Hazard have finished 66.7% and 75.9% respectively. He must improve in this area to add more threat to his game.

Robert Snodgrass was brought in to take over a lot of Payet’s duties, especially in creating chances from dead-ball situations. But from open play, Lanzini has the opportunity to become West Ham’s chief creator. The stats show that he has the ability to up his output, but he now needs to maintain those levels over sustained periods of time.

The underlying numbers suggest great things could be on the horizon with the premier league oscar nominations but now Lanzini needs to back up the figures with more goals and assists. Then he may well be recognised as a world-class talent and a player worthy of taking over the mantle from Payet.

How Payet left has left a strong taste of salt in the mouths of many fans. Although he achieved some amazing things while at the club, I’m not sure that anything can repair the relationship between him and the fans.

Let’s just hope his attitude is better than the Frenchman’s.

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I've been a passionate Hammers fan since i can remember. Growing up in Canning Town i was always down Upton Park as it was only a 10 minute walk down the Barking road. Always and forever COYI ! West Ham Till I Die !

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