Slaven Bilic admits new West Ham signing Manuel Lanzini isn't very strong but backs him to succeed

Upton Park

Slaven Bilic concedes he has taken a gamble on new West Ham United signing Manuel Lanzini adapting to the Premier League but is backing him to do just that.

Speaking after making the young Argentine playmaker his seventh signing of a busy summer, Bilic told West Ham's official website he might have 'hit the jackpot' by securing his capture.

The 22-year-old was another in a long line of skilful Argentinians who were likened to Lionel Messi when he broke through at River Plate as a 17-year-old.

The tricky ace, nicknamed 'the Jewel', has a very similar style to Manchester United's Angel Di Maria but somewhat bizarrely spent last season playing in the footballing backwater that is the UAE Arabian Gulf League for Al Jazira.

Slightly built

Lanzini, who is very slightly built, may struggle with the rigors of the English game according to his new boss, but Bilic - who has been chasing the player for the last two years while manager of Besiktas - has backed him to be a success.

"He’s going to add even more creativity in the crucial parts of the pitch," Bilic told whufc.com.

"I am confident and I’m hopeful that he can adapt. We’re going to see. He’s not very strong but he rides challenges, he doesn’t go down.

"So I hope he could be bingo for us. I am really hopeful and I think I have a feeling that he’s going to help us a lot.”

Honour of number 10 shirt at River Plate impressed new boss

Bilic was impressed by the fact Lanzini took on the pressure of the famous number 10 shirt at a massive club like River Plate at a young age.

The former Croatia boss said Lanzini can play in any positions in the final third including off the main striker and hopes he can add more creativity like fellow signing Dimitri Payet.

But Bilic was reluctant to put his new signing under too much pressure when asked how he compares to other playmakers he has managed, such as Luka Modric, saying he must be given time to find his feet.

Busy Hammers

Lanzini is the latest signing in what has been a busy summer in east London.

So far the Hammers have brought in goalkeeper Darren Randolph on a free transfer, midfielders Pedro Obiang and Payet for a combined total of around £15 million, defender Angelo Ogbonna for around £8 million and Carl Jenkinson in on loan again from Arsenal for a fee believed to be £2 million.

The Irons had already signed left back Stephen Hendrie from Scottish side Hamilton back in January and he officially became a West Ham player on July 1st.

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