Lanzini claims West Ham's Jonathan Calleri is a great player, despite no Premier League starts

West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini scores their second goal

Manuel Lanzini has defended West Ham team-mate Jonathan Calleri.

West Ham United's Jonathan Calleri celebrates scoring their third goalWest Ham United's Jonathan Calleri celebrates scoring

West Ham United playmaker Manuel Lanzini has told TyC Sports in his native Argentina that he thinks Jonathan Calleri is a 'great player'.

The Hammers have regularly signed Argentinian players over the years, but the success rate has largely been something of a mixed bag.

Carlos Tevez was a hero at Upton Park during the 2006-07 season, but the likes of Lionel Scaloni, Mauro Zarate and even Javier Mascherano struggled to make an impact in claret and blue.

Manuel Lanzini has been a success though, scoring six goals last season and five so far this term, and fans were hoping for another hit when Jonathan Calleri arrived from Deportivo Maldonado last summer.

Calleri arrived with a burgeoning reputation from his time in South America, having scored 23 times in 59 games for Boca Juniors, before hitting 16 goals in 31 appearances for Sao Paulo.

However, Calleri has so far struggled to make an impact for West Ham, as he has yet to start a Premier League game, making nine substitute appearances for the club.

West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini scores their second goalWest Ham United's Manuel Lanzini scores their second goal against West Brom

His goal in the recent 3-1 win over Middlesbrough was his first goal for the club, and with Andy Carroll again injured, he may receive more playing time in the coming weeks and months before his loan ends.

Now, team-mate Lanzini has defended Calleri, telling TyC Sports in his native Argentina that the striker is a 'great player' and has simply been unlucky that West Ham endured such a poor start to the season, meaning he couldn't make an impression.

“He is a great player,” said Lanzini. “It was bad luck that the team started badly this season. There was a change of formation and line-ups, he was unlucky to enter a group with success and confidence,” he added.

Do you think Calleri can still make an impact for West Ham?

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