Manuel Lanzini and Fabian Balbuena are heading to West Ham’s Spanish training camp this week, according to football.london. The South American duo have been out injured and have been sorely missed in midfield and defence respectively.
Lanzini has been out with a knee injury since the summer and is finally ready to step back into the first-team. Fabian Balbuena has also been struck down by a knee injury since January but now looks set to slot back into the centre of defence.
Lanzini’s absence has left a profound lack of creativity in West Ham’s midfield.
It has left the team to become far more dependent on Felipe Anderson, despite it being his first season in English football. The Argentine’s injury also contributed to the arrival of Samir Nasri in January in an attempt to provide the top-quality technical play the team have been missing.
The number ten’s excellent form last season earned him a World Cup call up with Argentina, but the injury sustained whilst training with the national team robbed him of the opportunity. West Ham fans will hope he has not lost this cutting edge when he finally returns.
Fabian Balbuena has been a revelation since his move to England. Not a lot was expected from the Paraguayan, but he has gone above and beyond expectations.
He has added leadership to a defence which has been lacking since Winston Reid’s injury. He also brings the best out of young Issa Diop, who has looked shakier since being paired with Ogbonna.
Manuel Pellegrini has said that this training camp is a chance to revitalise his tired squad. Due to a vast number of injuries, he hasn’t had the luxury of rotation.
Pellegrini spoke to the official site and said: “We continue with eight players injured, so I think this stop next weekend will be very useful for us.”