'Players hang on his every word': West Ham's newest star Manuel Lanzini lauds manager Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic

West Ham United's newest star Manuel Lanzini has heaped praise on manager Slaven Bilic and his coaching team after their flying start to the season.

Lanzini has been one of the surprise success stories of the Hammers' and indeed the Premier League season so far, taking to life in the English top flight like a duck to water.

Nicknamed the Jewel back in his native Argentina, Lanzini's success is perhaps only surprising given where he had been playing his football in recent years.

After starting his career at River Plate where he was the latest diminutive Argentine to be labelled 'the new Lionel Messi' Lanzini has spent the last couple of seasons playing in the footballing backwater that is the UAE Arabian Gulf League for Al Jazira.

West Ham boss Bilic was quite open and honest when he made the skilful Argentine his ninth summer capture and admitted that while he had been tracking him for two years while manager of Besiktas, he had taken something of a gamble on the 22-year-old.

'We always follow what he says'

It was a gamble Bilic backed himself to win, though, and so far the former Croatia boss has been proved right with Lanzini scoring one and making one to play a crucial role yet again in West Ham's latest away win, 3-1 over Crystal Palace last time out.

And it seems the admiration is mutual, with Lanzini telling the club's official site that he and his teammates hang on their manager's every word.

“Slaven is a very good coach and is able to transmit his ideas to the players very easily," Lanzini told whufc.com.

"He sets the team up well for every match and as a group we always follow what he says.

“As you can see from the results that has been working very well and the rest of the coaching staff have had a very good effect on the team."

A fitting moniker

It is easy to see why Lanzini is nicknamed 'the Jewel'.

His performances this season, particularly away from home, have not only shown his brilliant skill and pace but also his distinct quality in decision making, passing and most surprisingly that he also gets stuck in and does a real job defensively too.

If he is not looking to take on his marker or make a forward pass, you will find him chasing back, harrying the opposition and winning the ball back in expert fashion.

The little Argentinian is clearly relishing the confidence being shown in him by Bilic and is shining as a result.

If he can keep this form up for the Hammers then international recognition won't be far away.

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