The assistant said: “It is a little bit difficult for him, because if you are playing in a team with Payet there is more space for you as a creative player, because the opposition is marking [Payet]. So it’s going to be harder for him, but he is doing well. He is a hard worker, and we can expect a lot from him in the coming games.”
Lanzini has been in excellent form this season with the Hammers, scoring five goals and registering two assists in 13 games.
He has been part of the great attacking force alongside Payet and Victor Moses, but now that the Frenchman is out injured, Lanzini needs to step up to the plate and become the key playmaker.
However, this will become harder for him, as now teams will have to focus on the Argentine, rather than giving him space as they would be focused on Payet.
Payet is an exceptional player, and the threat he poses to the opposition due to his reputation is one of his real strengths. Teams know they have to double mark him and focus their attentions on the Frenchman, and Lanzini has benefitted.
However, Lanzini now has to prove he can still excel despite him being the main focal point of the opposition defence.
He struggled against Spurs, although his goal did prove he can create something out of nothing, and Slaven Bilic needs to ensure he builds a team who can play to Lanzini's strengths.
It is going to be a hard couple of months with Payet out, but one way to get through the troubles would be if Lanzini ups his game to another level in his absence.