Written by Jack O’Flaherty

Lanzini has returned to Rush Green, and we need him more than ever.

It’s safe to say it hasn’t been the best start to the season. Our new signings have failed to click – and from the first few games, we have shown a real lack of creative ideas, particularly in the final third. Going into Sunday’s clash with Everton we have the encouraging news that Manuel Lanzini is making great strides in his recovery after a successful knee surgery.  

Getting Lanzini fit and back in the first team is going to be vital for us this season. His ability to link play in the final third will help players like Anderson and Arnautovic flourish.

Creativity and imagination is something we have been greatly lacking in the opening fixtures. The match against Wolves was a particular example where neither team played brilliantly, and what it needed was a piece of magic in the final third to carve out a chance. Lanzini is that player. He may not always have a brilliant game, but he’s capable of producing one moment of magic which can win the game for us.

It’s easy to see an injured player through rose-tinted glasses, but Lanzini does have his drawbacks. A big criticism of him is his consistency. At times last year he had games where he really went missing, but he is a player who has that ability to turn a game around, something we desperately need now. It’s easy to say ‘what if’ Lanzini had started the season fit – would we have got a win by now, and would the team have clicked better? But I believe we would have.

Last season Manu was instrumental in how we played and the interplay he had with Arnautovic was essential to our season – the 5 goals and 6 assists proved vital in keeping us up. Aside from the stats, his general play, pace and energy is something we could really do with this season as the squad currently look lacking in energy and ideas.

With Lanzini still not expected to return until the new year, we have a while to wait until he can make an impact – and, hopefully, in the meantime the squad will begin to click with the attacking philosophy Manuel Pellegrini is trying to instil in the team.

I don’t think we need to panic though – yes it has been a poor start but I truly believe things will start to click soon and we can begin to pick up points.

Then, when Lanzini is ready, he will become a massive bonus to the squad.