After eight months out with an ACL injury picked up in FIFA World Cup 2018 preparations with Argentina, Manuel Lanzini has now made his full return to first-team action for Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United.
The 26-year-old came back in the London Stadium win over Fulham late last month for a cameo before playing the second half of the defeat at Manchester City and finally starting and staying on the pitch for the full 98 minutes last Saturday. As the Hammers overcame Newcastle United on home soil. Today, we’re going to analyse what the statistics tell us about how Lanzini has fared since his return for West Ham. Join us.
In order to do this, we will be looking at the attacking midfielder’s attacking statistics from his three appearances since returning on 22 February. All the data we need is contained in the below graphic, which comes from our good friends over at wyscout.com.
As you can see, Lanzini’s career average since moving to Europe from Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf League is also included in the image, in the column above his latest three matches. It makes for an intriguing comparison, though one we’re not going to be focussing on too much today.
The graphic tells us that Lanzini has been gently reintroduced following the lengthy injury lay-off, playing 18 minutes in his first appearance, 49 in his second and a full game in his third. This is undoubtedly the best approach after a career-threatening knock.
Our first two stats, beside the minutes played column, are goals and assists, with “The Jewel” registering blanks in both columns. Whilst he will be a little disappointed given the opportunities he’s had, specifically in the Cottagers and Magpies clashes, Lanzini is having to readjust to the pace of the toughest league in the world. No mean feat.
The chances the Argentina man’s enjoyed in front of goal are reflected in three shots across the trio of matches, one of which was on target. Along with a highest expected goals rating of an impressive 0.24 playing just behind the striker under Pellegrini.
The playmaker’s creativity is a well-known part of his overall game and hasn’t been lacking so far since his return, with a shot assist and crosses on the board. Hammers will have also been relieved to see his appetite for dribbling still exists, Lanzini recording an eye-catching six dribbles and completing four of them.
Being subjected to such a horrific injury right in the middle of his prime years clearly hasn’t affected the former River Plate star’s tendency to get involved in duels on the field, either. This is evidenced by 15 duels and seven won against Fulham, City and Newcastle.
The danger Lanzini poses to the opposition defence is still there, also, with plenty of touches in the opposing box, including a high five in the 2-0 victory on Saturday evening.
All of this is capped off with a strong zero offsides, two progressive runs from advanced midfield (in the Magpies triumph, a game in which he picked up the club’s Man-of-the-Match award) and a single foul suffered. To complete his attacking stats since his eagerly-awaited return.
Overall, there can be little denying that these stats are encouraging and show major signs that Lanzini has returned every bit the player he was before, with many fearing he wouldn’t. As there will be, there’s plenty to improve statistically, but we’re pretty sure the player would have taken these figures for his first three games back.
In conclusion, our statistics-driven tactical analysis today has revealed that the statistics tell a tale of a successful return to action so far for Lanzini. Not only has he come back in positive form, but he’s helped the team find its form too, with two wins in the last three after none in the previous five for Pellegrini’s Irons.
However, the most important thing for everyone is that the member of Argentina’s latest international squad for the March internationals, has made it through the three appearances unscathed. The Claret & Blue Army will certainly be hoping that things stay that way as he plays more minutes and aims to help the club to finish seventh in the run-in.
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