Video has surfaced of the Argentina squad’s reaction to Manuel Lanzini’s injury that has ruled the Argentine out of the World Cup before it’s even started.
The West Ham playmaker suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a training session, and looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, to the dismay of both Argentina and West Ham.
The Argentina squad was visibly upset by the news, with some players holding their heads in their hands and superstar Lionel Messi looking understandably shaken. The news is a massive blow to the squad psychologically but they’ll need to pick themselves up before their first group game against Iceland.
Lanzini has received public messages of support from two of his West Ham teammates. Both Mark Noble and goalkeeper Adrian sent tweets out wishing the creative midfielder a speedy recovery.
This latest blow piles yet more pressure on Lionel Messi, who will now be expected to shoulder Lanzini’s load of the attacking threat as well as his own. In a World Cup that could well cement Messi’s legacy as the greatest of all time, this Lanzini injury is a major setback for both him and the squad, which is already thin in the midfield area.
Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli is yet to decide on who will take Lanzini’s place in the squad, but after a sparkling season in a poor West Ham side, there’s no doubt that Argentina will struggle to find a replacement of his quality.