West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has likened his new loanee Manuel Lanzini to Real Madrid star Luka Modric.
Lanzini joined The Hammers from UAE-based side Al Jazira Club on a loan deal in the summer and has already made a big impact at Upton Park with two goals in his first seven appearances.
And Bilic, who managed Modric for six years during his time in charge of his native Croatia, believes that the similarities between the two midfielders are there for everyone to see.
In his Evening Standard column, Bilic said:
I have never seen a player who reminds me of Luka Modric as much as Manuel Lanzini. Luka is my favourite player. He is my prototype of a great midfielder.
The former Besiktas manager has been more than impressed with the Argentinian’s start to life in East London, which has seen the twenty-two-year-old net important goals in recent away wins at Anfield and Selhurst Park.
Lanzini scored against Crystal Palace, but his performance was good not for that reason alone. He always wants the ball. That’s why we put him in midfield. He does not look strong but some players can defy that physicality to impose themselves. Modric is the same and, like him, Lanzini is not afraid either. I am delighted with him.
Lanzini is almost certain to start in West Ham’s next fixture, the Premier League tie with champions Chelsea. The London Derby will be a fiercely contested match-up and all Hammers fans will be eager for the Argentine to add to his goal tally and inflict further misery on Jose Mourinho’s men.