EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini faces an extended spell on the sidelines after aggravating a foot injury sustained on international duty, Football Insider can reveal.
The Argentina international, 26, missed his side’s 2-0 win over Manchester United with the problem that first became apparent when he returned to the club earlier this month.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that the club’s medics were aware of bruising to his foot but gave him the green light to play last Monday’s goalless draw at Aston Villa.
The Argentine aggravated the injury and is now set for around three weeks out, ruling him out of Wednesday’s League Cup trip to Oxford United as well as Premier League matches against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.
West Ham’s backroom staff hope Lanzini will be fit to return after the October international break but are rueing him playing against Villa, when he stayed on for the full 90 minutes.
The team coped well without the attacking midfielder against United as a strong defensive performance stemmed the visitors and Manuel Pellegrini’s side capitalised through goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell.
Summer signing Pablo Fornals replaced Lanzini, who had started the first five league matches of the campaign, in the starting XI, but he had an indifferent game against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The loss of Lanzini is a shattering blow, as he started the season well and signed a new four-year contract earlier this month worth around £100,000-a-week.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that Pellegrini has been offered multiple free agent forwards by the club.