One player receiving some attention as a potential replacement for Dimitri Payet is his West Ham United team mate Manuel Lanzini. The Argentinian only played 15 minutes in the first three Gameweeks of this Premier League season, but he has been playing much more frequently since and has appeared for the full 90 minutes three times in the last five games.
When Lanzini has received significant game time, he has generally made use of it to unleash a few shots, as the following chart shows.
Lanzini’s chances created are turned into assists at a standard rate. His shots on target conversion rate is 60 per cent, which is too high to sustain in the long run. A potential problem appears to be that he tends to shoot from range. The former River Plate player has taken 21 shots, but only hit six of them from inside the box.
However, it’s worth remembering that he only costs 5.3m and he is the third highest scoring midfield player in the sub-5.5m price bracket. At that price most Fantasy Premier League managers would not expect a player to deliver the goods regularly, but would like to know he might do something if they have to play him.
A comparison with other players on how often they create chances, assists, goals, shots on target, shots in the box and shots might be useful here to put Lanzini’s number into context. Here is how Lanzini compares to Payet, Willian (6.9m), who I looked at yesterday, and Marc Albrighton (4.9m), who has score more FPL points than any midfielder priced at or under 5.5m.
Lanzini’s relative lack of creativity stands out, particularly against his team mate, who is one of the most creative players in the league. But he unleashes at least one shot more every 180 minutes on average than the other three players. If his shots in the box numbers were higher he could make a promising investment, but at the current rate I think he’s more of a gamble.
If a manager does gamble now then at 5.3m it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it fails. However, that is a slightly awkward price, being a touch too high for a fifth midfielder who normally stays on the bench. He would be nicely priced though if he shows enough form to make him a fourth midfielder.
I think Lanzini is one to monitor given his next three fixtures are against defensively capable sides (tot, WBA, mun). A good time to reassess may be a month from now when the Hammers’ fixture list opens up (STO, swa, avl).