West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini has admitted that he would like to return to his homeland and rejoin the club where he began his professional playing career.
Lanzini was not a mainstay in David Moyes’ lineups last season and many fans believe he is no more the same player he was before the career-threatening injury he suffered whilst training with the national team on the eve of the 2018 World Cup finals.
The attacking midfielder revealed that his heart is set on a return to River Plate where he began his career in 2010 to team up once again with former coach Marcelo Gallardo. He made this known in an interview with TNT Sports on Thursday.
“I have spoken a lot with Gallardo and with the leadership,” he said. “The chance to come back was never concrete because it is a difficult situation. I have a contract with West Ham, they will not want to give me away because they made a great investment.
“Obviously I would like to be working with a coach like him. For me, Marcelo is a coach who empowers the players. I hope he will manage me at some point and be able to enjoy it.”
He noted that being in the Premier League for the past 6 years would quell any financial concerns of a potential deal but added that the political situation at Buenos Aires alongside the coronavirus pandemic makes him uncertain about the positives of a return to Argentina for his young family.
“My desire to return to River is forever, but do not want to delude people,” he continued. “I think my relationship with River is always positive, but it goes beyond us.
“The economics are not a problem, but there are other issues. Argentina is not having a good time and the security issue is difficult . One sees the news and is scared. It is difficult to decide; I am 28 years old, I have two more years on my contract here in West Ham and I do not want to generate false expectations.”
Meanwhile, despite his 23 appearances for the Hammers last season, David Moyes is not entirely willing to sanction the sale of Lanzini who scored just 1 goal, a memorable equalizer at Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite how his popularity in the team has waned in recent times, Moyes still insists that he is one of the most influential squad members: “He is arguably one of our best players, if not our best player,” the manager argued.
“When I was here before I needed him as much as I needed Marko Arnautovic. He was such a good player for us and I am desperate to get him back to the levels he was at. I trust him, I believe he can get back to those levels.”