Matty Etherington says Manuel Lanzini can step up to the plate in Dimitri Payet’s absence

West Ham are expected to struggle with Dimitri Payet out injured.

Payet is set to be out of action until the New Year, but Matty Etherington has told the official West Ham website that there is one player who can step up and fill the creative void left by the Frenchman.

Etherington said: “Manuel Lanzini has been superb this season and I’m sure he will step up to the plate. I’ve been really impressed with him. He has been doing it for the team all season and he will take on a pivotal role as the creator in the team.”

Etherington has picked out the player that many believe will take much of the creative pressure following Payet’s injury, with Lanzini proving in his outings this season that he shares many of the same skills as the Frenchman.

Lanzini, on loan at West Ham from Al-Jazira, has scored three goals and assisted one in 10 Premier League appearances, whilst Payet has five goals and three assists in 12 games.

Payet has been played as the central playmaker, whilst Lanzini has been pushed out to the wing, and if the Argentine does move centrally, his stats could reach the same level as Payet’s.

Statistically Lanzini is slightly worse than Payet, but if set to take up the number 10 role, he will have the ball more often, and be able to create chances more often.

West Ham are bound to slightly struggle to come to terms with a team without Payet pulling the strings, but Lanzini looks a real star, and it is up to the 22-year-old to prove he can be the main man at the Boleyn Ground.

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