Manuel Lanzini put in a very interesting cameo performance for West Ham United against Derby County on Monday night.

And the Argentinian ace, 29, proved that he still has a lot to offer this Hammers team, at the very least as a useful squad player.

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It was only a few days ago when I suggested that West Ham should sell the 29-year-old play-maker before the end of the January transfer window.

West Ham United v Leeds United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

That was based on the fact that David Moyes has barely used him this season. Lanzini has been given just 815 minutes of action, with only 122 of those coming in the Premier League (Transfermarkt).

Considering how poor we have been this season, I really thought that the Argentinian must have been showing absolutely nothing in training because otherwise, why wouldn’t he have played more?

However, his six-minute cameo for West Ham against Derby on Monday night proved that he can still be a very useful member of the team. His performance also shone the spotlight squarely in Moyes’s direction…

Manuel Lanzini should be playing more for West Ham

The Argentinian was signed for around £9 million on a permanent deal in the summer of 2016 (The Mirror), having spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Upton Park.

He was a huge hit in East London…up until disaster struck for him in 2018. During the build-up to the World Cup out in Russia, Lanzini ruptured his ACL in training with Argentina.

Despite a mini renaissance during the second-half of the 2020/21 season, Manu has never been the same player since that injury, and it’s no surprise. Many players have failed to come back from it in the past.

However, against Derby on Monday night, the talented South American looked like his old self. Sure it was only against League One opposition, and yes it was only for six minutes.

But the way in which Lanzini showed for the ball at every opportunity, and his cool and composed nature when in possession highlighted just how much we have missed someone like that in the team this season.

I’m not suggesting that Manuel Lanzini should be starting every single week for West Ham, far from it in fact.

Manuel Lanzini should be playing more for West Ham
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Moyes really should be using the South American more though. Certainly instead of Pablo Fornals at the moment in my opinion.

A double pivot of Declan Rice and Lanzini just behind Lucas Paqueta is something that the West Ham manager hasn’t tried yet, and it might just work.

The bottom line is that something has to change if the West Ham players are to drag themselves out of the relegation battle that they currently find themselves in.

And in my opinion, handing a more prominent role to Manuel Lanzini during the second half of the season might well be a wise move from David Moyes.

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