Kevin Nolan raves about unsung West Ham player living in Dimitri Payet's shadow

Upton Park

Former West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan has been singing the praises of a player he feels is an unsung 'gem' for the club.

Nolan's four-year spell with the Hammers came to an end at the beginning of the season when Slaven Bilic took over from Sam Allardyce.

With the Hammers signing no fewer than seven midfielders to add to the likes of Mark Noble and Chiekhou Kouyate last summer, Nolan's chances were always going to be seriously limited.

His contract was terminated by mutual consent and after a spell without a club, the former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers man is now enjoying life as player-manager of West Ham's East London neighbours Leyton Orient in League Two.

Nolan acknowledged new Hammers hero Dimitri Payet has been one of the standout stars of the Premier League season when he spoke to talkSPORT.

'I'm telling you they've got a little gem'

But the Liverpudlian was quick to sing the praises of another West Ham midfielder.

"He's (Bilic) brought some great players in," Nolan told Alan Brazil's Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT.

"You know the likes of Payet but I think just sitting below him is Lanzini.

"He hasn't had much of a mention this year, he goes unnoticed because of Payet at this moment in time but I'm telling you they've got a little gem with him in the ranks as well."

Lanzini a revelation

Lanzini has been a revelation since arriving in East London on loan from Al Jazira in the footballing backwater that is the UAE Arabian Gulf League.

The measure of his impact came when the club struggled in his absence due to injury which kept him out for around three months in total this campaign.

West Ham boss Bilic was quite open and honest when he made the skilful Argentine one of 12 summer captures and admitted he had taken a gamble on the 23-year-old given where he had been playing his football.

But it is a gamble that has paid off and now the club are set to sign him permanently in the summer, as reported by the likes of Sky Sports.

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