Manuel Lanzini: The Jewel West Ham have needed
New West Ham signing Manuel Lanzini has a chance to impress on a stage as good as the English Premier League and the Europa League, will the talented Argentinian live up to his name - 'La Joya'?
It's probable that some of La Joya's ancestors heard – and partook in – the cries and cheers of battle and bloodshed by the banks of the Santa Maria River almost two hundred years ago. Days when present day Argentina and Brasil fought each other trying to claim every acre of land they were able to. The Armada had left. Emancipated and nearly-free, armies of thousands prepared for battle.
Today, some of the descendants of those Santa Maria families, along with La Joya himself, will hear familiar cries and chants along either side of the Thames. Especially when and if against Milwall.
He'll don the number 28 shirt, play with the blessings of former Argentinian super stars such as Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, and will have the backing of a truly aspiring set of Premier League fans.
West Ham have got the jewel in their steadily-growing crown in Manuel Lanzini.
Once a River Plate 'Number 10', Lanzini progressed through the ranks that produced players like Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, and made his competitive debut aged just 17.
Regularly scouted by the likes of Tottenham, Villareal, Sevilla and other European giants, Lanzini will now go against most of those names in the Europa League.
He's shown to have a sharp eye for a pass. He's quick and with the drop of one shoulder is able to beat defenders and find a charging team-mate.
Many argue that Lanzini choosing Al Jazeera of the Emirates was a wrong move for a budding and talented youngster but according to La Joya himself, he set himself up to many more challenges and offers having made the journey across from Argentina.
"There are deep playmakers like [Andrea] Pirlo or [Luka] Modric or you have playmakers between the lines up front like [David] Silva. He's more like him but he can play in all positions behind the strikers," said an elated Slaven Bilic.
"At the age of 20, he was given the No 10 jersey at River Plate who, with Boca Juniors, are a massive club of course.
"I watched him two years ago and I wanted to take him to Besiktas, but it was difficult. Now, the chance has come to get him, he's going to help us a lot as he will add even more creativity in the crucial parts of the pitch," he concluded.
Lanzini is no finished product. Against Werder Bremen, he produced a few moments of brilliance but was unable to save his team from losing the Betway Cup fixture.
Against FC Astra Giurgiu, with Dimitri Payet unlikely to feature, a player of Lanzini's flair and creativity should help the Hammers reach the final qualifying round of the Europa League.
With an aggregate scoreline of 2-2, the Hammers must utilise their 'Jewel' to his strengths for he has what it takes to make an impression worthy of the highest of plaudits – keep him in the centre of the pitch, make sure you have your wide players making constant runs and ensuring the target man up top is not too far ahead.
Come next week, when it comes to playing against a title contender in Arsenal, Lanzini will have a lot of cameras pointed at him.
He'll enjoy the limelight for he's used to being covered but one thing he'll have to work on is to make sure he can perform on a consistent basis. And if he does, the Hammers will stand by him through thick and thin.
Only time will tell of Lanzini's magic but unlike the inconclusive Battle of Ituzaingó, Lanzini can guide this new Hammer-army to victory and beyond.