Hammers complete Lanzini deal

West Ham United are delighted to confirm that Manuel Lanzini will join the Club on a permanent basis on 1 July
West Ham United are delighted to confirm that Manuel Lanzini will join the Club on a permanent basis on 1 July.

Following an exceptional debut season in east London, the Hammers have taken up an option to sign the 23-year-old attacking midfielder from UAE League club Al Jazira Club for an undisclosed fee.

The sparkling Argentine, nicknamed ‘La Joya’ – The Jewel – in his homeland due to his outstanding talent, has scored six goals and chalked up three assists in 22 appearances in Claret and Blue.

After putting pen to paper on a four-year contract with a further two-year option, the popular No28 said he was pleased to have pledged his future to West Ham.

"I am absolutely delighted to have signed and to be able to stay at this Club," Lanzini, who scored on his Hammers debut in a UEFA Europa League tie with Astra Giurgiu in August, told West Ham TV. 

"I really feel at home here, and when you feel at home somewhere, you definitely don't want to leave.

"I am very happy and now what I want to do is to keep giving the best of myself."

Diminutive in stature, but strong and determined in body and mind, Lanzini came through the same River Plate youth system that produced the likes of his boyhood heroes Pablo Aimar and Ariel Ortega, as well as former Hammer Javier Mascherano.

Born in the Ituzaingó Partido of the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area to Italian ancestry, Lanzini joined River Plate at the age of nine in 2002.

At 17, he made his professional debut in a 1-0 home win over Tigre on 8 August 2010, and went on to make 22 league appearances for River in is debut season.

Summer 2011 saw Lanzini loaned to Brazilian giants Fluminense, where he impressed by scoring twice in 22 appearances as a teenager, helping the club to win the Serie A title.

With that experience under his belt, he returned to River, where he was handed the coveted No10 shirt, helping the club to reach the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals and scoring a career-high eight goals in 26 league appearances in 2012/13.

A packed 2013/14 saw Lanzini play 41 times in all competitions for River, helping the Buenos Aires club to reach the last-eight of the Copa Sudamericana and attracting the attention of clubs all over the world.

It was Al Jazira who moved for the exciting talent, securing Lanzini’s path to Abu Dhabi, where he became the youngest foreign player to appear in the UAE Arabian Gulf League at the age of 21.

Again wearing the No10 shirt, Lanzini scored eight goals in 24 league appearances to help Al-Jazira to finish as league runners-up last season.

At international level, the creative South American has been capped four times by Argentina at U20 level and will hope to make the step up to the senior squad if he can impress in Claret and Blue.

*What is your reaction to the news that Manuel Lanzini will join West Ham United on a permanent basis? Have your say on Twitter now using the hashtag #LanziniSigns