The Hammers assistant boss has likened the pair to Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki
Speaking to the club’s official website, West Ham United assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic says star turns Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini remind him of Croatia legends Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki.
Jurcevic, along with Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, played alongside the duo in the famous Croatia side that reached the quarter finals of Euro 1996 and finished third at the 1998 World Cup, catching the eye with their attacking and creative football.
Both players enjoyed impressive club careers as well, with Boban spending over a decade with AC Milan and Prosinecki playing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid.
And Jurcevic says he can see shades of the duo in current West Ham pairing Payet and Lanzini, while also likening them to modern day Croatia heroes Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
“Sometimes when I have spoken with Slaven or when I talk with my friends, I make some comparisons with players from before like Boban or Prosinecki, or players now like Modric and Rakitic. We also have those type of players in Payet and Lanzini,” he told whufc.com.
The Upton Park coach was, however, keen to highlight that West Ham’s success this season has been down to a squad effort.
Lanzini and Payet were among a number of new arrivals snapped up over the summer as Bilic looked to overhaul his squad, and both have played key roles in their impressive start to the season.
However, the squad players have also played a big part, with Mauro Zarate and Andy Carroll scoring the goals to secure a notable win over Chelsea at the weekend.
And Jurcevic was keen to highlight squad depth as being an important strength for the Hammers.
“Sometimes we spoke about one or two players, but we must speak also about more players,” he added.
“OK, I understand in every team, everybody speaks more about players who are more offensive or more creative, but I think everything our team has done until now is for all the players.”