Manuel Lanzini could be back in the West Ham United team to face Liverpool on February 24, goalkeeper Adrian has suggested.
The playmaker was substituted a little over an hour into the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth in January and missed the following three Premier League fixtures.
Early indications were that he would not be available for selection until early March, but Adrian dropped a major hint that the Argentine is set to make a return to the first-team setup when questioned about the quality of the Hammers’ attack.
“Marko [Arnautovic] is a great player, everyone knows that, and you absolutely miss this kind of player [when he is out injured] and you have to adapt and work in a different way, but now we have Marko back and Manu [Lanzini] is ready to come to the team,” the 30-year-old told the club’s official website.
“We hope all the injured players will come back as soon as possible and we can work all together until the end.”
Adrian’s comments come after the club tweeted a video of Lanzini confirming he would ‘be back soon’ before the win over Watford on Saturday.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 10, 2018
Having the diminutive 24-year-old back in the side will give the Irons an extra dimension going forward to add to the goalscoring prowesses of Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.
The former has seven strikes in his last nine Premier League appearances, whilst his Mexican team-mate has started to hit form with three in his most recent four outings in the top flight.
Both netted in the 2-0 triumph over the Hornets, which eased the Irons’ relegation worries in what is set to be one of the tightest battles for survival in recent memory.
Whilst West Bromwich Albion are cut adrift seven points from safety at the bottom, only 11 points separate Stoke City in 19th from 7th-placed Burnley, meaning as many as fourteen teams are arguably in danger.
The offensive talents at West Ham’s disposal could therefore be crucial in deciding the fate of those in claret and blue.