By support

8th Apr, 2017 | 11:35am

Manuel Lanzini: This man is why I signed for West Ham

By Will Butcher

Manuel Lanzini has revealed Slaven Bilic was the main reason he signed permanently for West Ham after an initial loan spell.

Attacking midfielder Lanzini joined the Hammers in a deal worth £9million back in March 2016 from Qatari side Al-Jazira, after the Argentinian impressed during his 2015-16 loan.

Speaking to the Mirror, Lanzini leapt to the defence of under-fire manager Bilic, as pressure continues to mount over his future as Hammers boss following five straight defeats.

The Hammers’ number 10 also revealed that Bilic played a huge part in his decision to sign for the east London club last year.

“Slaven has shown a lot of confidence in me since the very beginning. He is a big part of the reason I signed for the club and has always treated me very well so I am very grateful to him for that.

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“It is not my decision about Slaven’s future but he led the club to a great season last year and I am very grateful to him. I would love him to stay.”

Lanzini has been a rare shining light in the Hammers side this season, despite their poor form that has seen them go winless in their last seven games.

Despite being given a vote of confidence, former Besiktas and Croatia manager Bilic remains under huge pressure with the likes of Jaap Stam, Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini all reportedly in the running to replace Bilic.

The Hammers will be desperate to end their dismal run of form on Saturday against Swansea, as they sit in 15th place and only six points above the relegation zone.

Lanzini is expected to start for the Hammers at the London Stadium, with three points enough to see Bilic’s side surge up the table to 11th if Leicester, Stoke, Bournemouth and Burnley drop points.

In other West Ham news, Diafra Sakho has spoken of his injury nightmare.

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