Darren Bent revealed he has been shocked that West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has opted to use playmaker Manuel Lanzini from the bench rather than start him in matches.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Tottenham and Aston Villa forward shared that he thought Lanzini is one of the Hammers best and most creative players.

The Argentinian international fractured his collarbone during his cameo appearances in the 3-0 defeat to Burnley on Saturday and is set to have surgery on Monday.

Bent admitted that the Hammers losing Lanzini to injury was a massive blow for Pellegrini’s side, but quickly added that he has found it odd that Lanzini hasn’t been making the team’s starting line-ups as of late.

When asked if losing Lanzini to injury was a massive blow for the Hammers, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah, it is.

“I had wondered why he hasn’t been starting games as he is one of their most creative players and one of their best players.

“It has kind of shocked me that he wasn’t playing anyway.”

Lanzini has been deployed from the bench during the club’s last three league games but in his brief outing against Newcastle United, he did manage to rack up his third assist of the season.

The 26-year-old midfielder has been with the Hammers since joining the club initially on loan in July 2015 from Al-Jazira and he signed a contract extension in August 2019 which will see him stay at the London Stadium until 2023.

In other West Ham news, it can be exclusively REVEALED that the club are plotting a January swap deal with Midlands big hitters.