Former Hammer Manuel Lanzini is back at his boyhood club River Plate where he has signed a one-year contract as a free agent after being released by West Ham at the end of June.
“We closed an agreement a few hours ago. He is today a free player and will be coming for a period of one year,” River Plate club president Jorge Brito told local television last night in Argentina.
“Manuel will be a unique player in Argentine football because of the level of play he comes from; he is very important for us.” The 30-year-old Lanzini returns to River, where he began his career in 2010 before spells at Fluminense in Brazil, Al-Jazira in the United Arab Emirates and West Ham, where he made more than 200 appearances between 2015 and 2023.
The Argentine midfielder joined the Hammers, initially on loan, from United Arab Emirates side Al Jazira in the summer of 2015, making the move permanent the following year for just over £10m.
Over his eight seasons in Claret and Blue, Lanzini made 226 appearances in all competitions and scored 32 goals – twice winning the Club’s Goal of the Season award, for his unforgettable last-gasp strike at Tottenham Hotspur in 2020/21 and then a superb volleyed finish at Crystal Palace the following campaign.
Hammer of the Year runner-up in 2016/17, Lanzini bravely fought back from a serious knee injury that cost him a place in Argentina’s FIFA World Cup finals squad in 2018 to regain his national team spot and play a key role in West Ham’s success over the last three years. He made eleven appearances in the UEFA Europa Conference League run last season, scoring in home and away victories over Danish side Silkeborg IF.