Manuel Pellegrini having hinted that Manu Lanzini could be in the squad for Fulham tomorrow night (Fri) believes the brilliant midfielder will return without fear.
After nine months on the sidelines the manager has seen all the right signs from the creative midfielder and declared: “Seeing Manuel working during the last two weeks for me I am confident that he will return in a very good shape because he is not afraid,”
Pellegrini told www.whufc.com : “Maybe when you have such a long injury in your knee, when you start working you are maybe a little bit afraid to have a kick or something, he is working as if he has not been operated on for his knees, so I hope he will return a very good performance.”
He added: ““[He is the perfect player for us] not only in the way I like to play football. I think Manuel Lanzini for every manager would be a player that makes a difference.
“[He adds a new attacking dimension] of course, for me as a manager the more options you have the better you can play than if you don’t have options.”
ClaretandHugh says: It’s well known that Pellegrini had planned to build the Hammers team around Manu when accepting the job as manager and that his team planning was thrown into turmoil by the shocking cruciate injury the midfielder suffered. At the time there were even fears it was ‘career over’ for the player which makes his nine month recovery entirely remarkable. It would be surprising were the player to get more than a cameo role tomorrow evening but if it happens that will be enough for now – just the sight of the man on the pitch will be enough for most of us. His return – and that possibly of Samir Nasri – gives the team a formidable look and there will be a serious battle for places over the last lap of the season which could even see as catapult ourselves into that seventh place. But for now it’s enough to say: “Welcome back Manu – you have been sorely missed and incredible congratulations on your much faster than expected recovery.”