Team news: Manuel Lanzini set for Newcastle return


West Ham United will welcome Manuel Lanzini back to the squad when they take on Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The Hammers have been without the creative Argentine since he picked up a knee injury in pre-season, but the midfielder is now set, having trained with Slaven Bilic’s side for the whole of this week, to make his return.

And though it may be too premature for the 24-year-old to start the Hammers’ clash in the north east, Bilic insisted it will be a huge boost to have him back in the dressing room.

“Manuel started training with us without any restrictions this week,” said the boss. “He was back with the squad on Monday, and he looks really sharp.

“Of course he’s hungry, because he was missing while he was injured and we are going to see what we think tomorrow [about his involvement].

“But he is definitely going to be involved in the squad, and we will see how much we use him. It’s a big boost and it’s good he and Cheikhou [Kouyate] are back. Cheikhou played 20 minutes [against Cheltenham] to see how he feels.

“He also looks sharp and that’s good for us. The players are all coming back now. It’s good for us to be fair.”

Andy Carroll in training this week

With Kouyate back in contention after recovering from what was also a pre-season knee injury, the Hammers’ only certainties to miss the trip to Newcastle will be the suspended Marko Arnautovic and the injured Winston Reid.

“Yes [Arnautovic is suspended], and apart from him and Reid – who was injured before Southampton – we have the full squad on the pitch this week from Monday onwards,” Bilic continued.

“That’s the first time in ages that we are all training on the pitch. Maybe it’s too early for some of them, Newcastle.

“Some joined us after a long break and we’ll see tomorrow. But what’s really encouraging is that they’re all back, apart from Reidy, who should be back for Huddersfield.”

Andy Carroll scored 33 times in 91 appearances for hometown club Newcastle United, and could potentially face his old side this weekend.

Bilic, though, moved to reassure supporters the Big Man will only feature for the Hammers when they deem him to be fully fit and ready.

“When he’s fit, we all know what he brings. That’s why we want him not to rush with his training and to this time, train for a longer period,” the Croatian added.

“He is a major player. He will play a major role this season, but only when he is fit. We want him around long-term. It’s frustrating when he is not available for a long period.

“It’s a big blow for us and for him [when that happens].”