By Wayne Veysey
West Ham held back on securing Manuel Lanzini to a new contract until they were convinced he had fully recovered from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season, Football Insider can reveal.
The Hammers announced last week they had tied the Argentina playmaker, 26, down to a new 100,000-a-week four-year deal that is worth £20million in total.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that the club would have moved to tie Lanzini down far earlier had he not ruptured his cruciate knee ligament last summer.
The Hammers board wanted Manuel Pellegrini and his coaching staff to be fully convinced that the Argentine had suffered no ill effects from an injury that sidelined him for eight months.
He did make 10 appearances at the end of last season, but the club wanted to see how he coped with a demanding pre-season before offering him such a lucrative contract.
The source explained that Lanzini was getting “anxious” about his future over the summer but Pellegrini was satisfied he was fully fit and back up to speed.
Lanzini has started all four of West Ham’s Premier League matches this season, supplying two assists from his central attacking midfield role.
This has taken his tally in a West Ham shirt to 21 goals and 19 assists from 113 appearances in all competitions.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that Pellegrini has been offered multiple free agent forwards by the club.