Former-West Ham United boss Slaven Bilić has claimed that nobody else in England knew who Manuel Lanzini was before he signed him for the club. Bilić brought the relatively unknown Argentinean to the club in 2015, where he made a name for himself in the Premier League with his characteristically tenacious displays.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Bilić expressed his frustrations over his transfer market dealings being under-appreciated at the club, and highlighted his move for Lazini as being representative of his impressive dealings. Bilić claimed:
"I don’t want to praise myself but if you ask about Lanzini, I knew about him since he was at River Plate a few years ago, I wanted to take him to Besiktas.
"At that time, he was too much money and went to Al Jazira (in Abu Dhabi). et’s be honest, who knew about Lanzini before he came to England? Nobody knew and that includes the chairman. But I never treated the signings like that, like they are my players or your players. No, they were all our players, collective responsibility."
Bilić was sacked from the club in November, ending his two-and-a-half spell with the east Londoners after they slipped into the relegation zone. The Hammers have suffered greatly since moving from Upton Park to the London Stadium, with the cavernous new surroundings unquestionably effecting the intensity of the side's play.
Under their new manager David Moyes, the Hammers have stabilised with an impressive draw against Arsenal and a shock win over Chelsea. However, the club are still in the relegation zone, and will have to fight hard to battle their way out of the tightly packed, highly competitive tail-end of the division.