There’s a feeling amongst fans that we may have already seen the last of Manuel Lanzini in a West Ham shirt and recent transfer rumours aren’t helping.
The Argentine has been a consistent fan favourite since he arrived in the summer of 2015, providing us with countless memorable moments ever since.
Lanzini’s form, though, has been heavily affected by the ACL injury he picked up just before the 2018 World Cup, which ruled him out of the competition having played his way in to Argentina’s squad with a brilliant season for the Hammers.
He hasn’t been the same player since and despite a string of isolated good performances over the last couple of seasons, has struggled to hold down a regular starting role, under both Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes.
And so it’s no surprise that Argentine journalist Nicolas Distasio reported that the midfielder was ready to ask the club for a move away this summer, with a return to River Plate preferable.
However, French outlet Foot Mercato (via Inside Futbol) are reporting this week that Marseille are keen on bringing him to the Stade Velodrome for a reunion with former Hammer Dimitri Payet. Lanzini is said to be aware of their interest and is doing his homework on what moving to Marseille would mean for him and his career.
Both reports aren’t surprising and, unfortunately, hint that we may be forced to say our goodbyes to a wonderful servant for the club.
He’s given us some great memories over the years, not least his epic 94th minute, 30-yard equaliser in the 3-3 draw with Spurs back in October 2020. If that’s the last notable thing he did in our colours, then what a way to bow out!
His performance in central midfield against Burnley at the beginning of May gave many of us hope that perhaps Moyes had found an alternative role for him moving forward, with his more attacking role being taken up by the likes of Jesse Lingard, Pablo Forals, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case and he could be on his way out before the summer is out and, as much as it would be sad to see Lanzini go, it would only be fair for the 28-year-old to be able to leave and find the regular playing time he deserves elsewhere.
If he does go to Marseille, maybe we’ll get to see him again if we draw them in the Europa League.
During his time at West Ham Lanzini, who is valued at £9m by transfermarkt.com, has scored 22 goals and provided 23 assists in 157 appearances in all competitions.