Manuel Lanzini is ready to take his chance to cement a place in Argentina’s travelling party for this summer’s World Cup.
The West Ham United playmaker was on Thursday named in manager Jorge Sampaoli’s 23-man squad for the upcoming friendly internationals against Spain and Italy.
[SELECCIÓN MAYOR] Estos son los jugadores del exterior convocados por Jorge Sampaoli para los amistosos ante Italia y España. pic.twitter.com/omtycsS4cL
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) March 1, 2018
And whilst that gives Lanzini the chance to add to the two caps he has won for his country to date, he knows that there is much work ahead if he is to be involved at the finals in Russia in just a few months’ time.
“We have friendly matches with Italy and Spain and then of course the World Cup to look forward to, and it is one of my ambitions to be in the squad, but I need to play well here for West Ham because Argentina have very good players,” the 25-year-old told the Hammers’ official website.
“I have a chance and even if it is the smallest chance I hope I can go with the national team.
“It’s one of my dreams to go to the World Cup, as it is for every player, but I need to play very well here first.”
Lanzini is clearly rated by boss Sampaoli, who handed the former River Plate trainee his debut for the national team against rivals Brazil last June.
However, it is clear from the Irons star’s comments that his club form will play a major role in dictating whether or not he makes the cut for the World Cup.
With eight assists and three goals to his name this term across 21 appearances, Lanzini has been one of the better performers in a West Ham side that have struggled against relegation since the opening day of the Premier League season.
Nonetheless, a cursory glance at the latest squad shows that Argentina have a wealth of attacking talent to choose from and the race for the 23 places is as competitive as in any country on the planet.
Lanzini’s next chance to impress comes on Saturday when West Ham travel to Swansea City, before a home clash with Burnley next weekend.