West Ham's Manuel Lanzini: From River Plate to lining up alongside Messi in Russia

Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal and Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between West Ham United and...

West Ham United star Manuel Lanzini is looking forward to impressing for Argentina at the summer World Cup.

Lionel Messi of Argentina and Manuel Lanzini of Argentina watch from the stands during the International Friendly between Spain and Argentina on March 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

2014 World Cup finalists Argentina will attempt to go one better when the tournament returns this summer in Russia, and with Barcelona's Lionel Messi raring to go and clinch the only major trophy that has eluded him, the South Americans have a chance to win it.

West Ham United star Manuel Lanzini is also part Jorge Sampaoli's squad, as Argentina look to clinch their third World Cup, and his career could change forever if they do.

While Messi and co were preparing for the last World Cup in Brazil, the 25-year-old had just ended the 2013-14 campaign with River Plate as an Argentine Primera División winner.

With Lanzini's only appearances for the country's youth sides coming just a year earlier when he played five times in their failed under-20 World Cup qualifying campaign, he was far from being a senior team prospect, given the quality and number of players waiting to make the grade.

Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London,...

Four years on, the 2016-17 Hammers Players Player of the Year has definitely surpassed initial expectations as far as an international career goes.

Despite being courted by teams in the major European leagues, Lanzini's first stint out of his continent was with UAE Arabian Gulf League side Al Jazira Club, with whom he signed a four-year deal just after the 2014 World Cup.

A season later, West Ham took a punt on the Argentine, securing his services on loan for the 2015-16 campaign.

His performances were worthy of a permanent contract, and he has since become one of the club's mainstays.

Lanzini made his international debut a year ago, and despite playing just two more games for La Albiceleste since, his West Ham exploits were enough to put him on a plane to Russia.

Argentina's national football team players (L-R) defender Marcos Acuna, forward Lionel Messi, midfielder Manuel Lanzini and midfielder Cristian Pavon jog, during a training session in...

The attacking midfielder has been routinely linked with a Liverpool switch since the Reds lost Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January, and the club want to hand him a new and improved deal with just two years left on his current contract.

However, a bigger club, ready to pay big, could come for Lanzini's signature post-World Cup should he impress and help Argentina to the prize, and holding on to him will be impossible if regular Champions League football, a juicy wage package and the opportunity to lineup alongside top quality players are all on offer.

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