In what would come as a devastating news for West Ham, Manuel Lanzini is set to miss the whole of next season with a horror knee injury, according to reports.
The 25-year-old playmaker could be out for up to 15 months after rupturing cruciate ligaments in training with the Argentina squad a week before the World Cup kicked off in Russia. However, the injury is reportedly a ‘cruciate plus’ – thus ruling Lanzini out for far longer time than previously thought.
Lanzini is a key player for the Hammers and was an integral reason for the club’s survival in the Premier League last term.
The Argentine’s absence will be a crushing blow for new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has been busy in the transfer market so far. The Irons broke their transfer record to sign defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £25m. They have also signed goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski from Swansea City for £7m and defender Ryan Fredericks on a free transfer from Fulham.
Now that Lanzini is set to miss the entire 2018/19 season, here are three replacements for the Argentine Pellegrini should consider.
Juan Quintero (FC Porto)
The Porto attacking midfielder spent the last season out on loan at Argentine club River Plate.
His performances at the World Cup have been excellent so far – he scored a fine free-kick in Colombia’s defeat against Japan before putting in an impressive performance in his nation’s 3-0 win over Poland last weekend; he provided the assist for Yerry Mina’s opening goal.
The Colombian possesses excellent dribbling skills and has a great passing range. He is quick, agile and creative, with his excellent vision helping him take advantage of gaps between defenders.
Quintero is a gifted player and West Ham should consider making a move for him.
Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
According to reports, West Ham and Lazio have reached an agreement for the transfer of Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson.
The 25-year-old winger scored 8 goals and provided 10 assists across all competitions in an injury-hit season for Lazio last term.
Anderson is a right-winger by trade but he can also operate as an attacking midfielder. He would add some much-needed quality, creativity and guile to West Ham’s attacking play under Pellegrini next season. He possesses breakneck pace and has a wonderful range of passing too.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
One player West Ham should consider while replacing Lanzini is Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss winger is available for just £12.5m this summer, following Stoke City’s relegation from the Premier League.
Shaqiri is a gifted player, who is highly experienced in playing at the very highest level, having spent time with Inter Milan and Bayern Munich previously. He is skillful, effective and lightning fast, and has the qualities to trouble any defence.
Shaqiri is only 26 years old and in today’s highly inflated market, signing someone of the Switzerland international’s quality for just £12.5m is a real steal.