By Joe Ellis

2nd Jan, 2022 | 9:30am

Manuel Lanzini earns big praise from West Ham teammate

West Ham United’s victory away at Crystal Palace was crucial to the Hammers’ top-four hopes and one player, in particular, stood out.

Manuel Lanzini scored a brace at Selhurst Park as the Irons held off a late Palace charge to take three points back to the London Stadium.

The Argentine’s dazzling display has seen his Hmmers’ teammate Declan Rice sing his praises from the rooftops.

“It was a great goal,” Rice said as quoted by the West Ham website. “He touched it on his right and brought it back on his left and it was a great finish.

“Manu is a special, special player and probably nobody else in the team would have been able to manoeuvre the ball that quick. For him to get another two goals, I’m delighted for him.”

Manuel’s Rebirth

A combination of injuries and new signings has seen Lanzini’s influence at the London Stadium lessen in the past 18 months.

Jesse Lingard’s brief spell at West Ham last season and now the form of Pablo Fornals has seen game time difficult to come by for the 28-year-old.

Fornals though is suffering from an injury of his own now and while unfortunate for the Spaniard, his downfall has revived Lanzini’s career at the club.

The Argentine played in seven of West Ham’s eight December fixtures, only missing the final Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb where David Moyes selected a rotated side having already qualified as group winners.

He has been a crucial cog in the West Ham machine recently though and he will no doubt be bragging about being the Premier League top scorer in 2022 so far.

Keeping Lanzini in form along with the more lauded stars such as Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen should see the Hammers keep their tremendous season going all the way to May.

In other West Ham news, this BT Sport pundit was in awe of West Ham star’s display against Crystal Palace.