West Ham United have endured another bang average season in 2018-19 and many supporters will claim the absence of clever playmaker Manuel Lanzini is a key reason as to why the spark just hasn’t been there under Manuel Pellegrini.

The Argentina international suffered a heartbreaking injury to his knee ahead of last summer’s World Cup campaign in Russia and hasn’t played a minute of football since. He’s nearing the end of his road to recovery though.

Lanzini was expected to spend the whole of the 2018-19 season on the sidelines, but Manuel Pellegrini has got fans excited after telling the West Ham website that he’s returned to training.

“About the injuries, we had the good news that Manu Lanzini started working with the squad. It’s just the warm-up, but he did his examination and his recovery is in the correct way.

Of course he is still a few weeks away from playing. He is only working part of the warm-up with the squad, but the important thing is he feels good and his knee is in the correct way.”

It would be universally agreed that the Hammers have sorely missed Lanzini’s creative genius as they slumber in 12th place in the Premier League and are out of both cup competitions.

There were questions raised about whether the 25-year-old would still be at the London Stadium this season following reported interest from Liverpool, but supporters will be hoping to see him at his sparkling best when he returns.

He’s expected to put on the claret and blue shirt on again by the end of the month.