Manuel Lanzini 18 Attacking Midfielder Fluminense
River Plate’s 2010-11 season could only be defined as a disaster. Suffering relegation for the first time, a dysfunctional side's creative output fell squarely on the shoulders of protégé Erik Lamela, one of the few players to emerge from a dreadfuk season with any merit. While Lamela’s stock rose amid the chaos and disappointment surrounding him, Manuel Lanzini remained in the background, appearing sporadically and struggling to fight against a wave of inevitability as River disintegrated.
It’s fair to say that Manuel Lanzini’s inclusion on this list really was a punt on his potential rather than any solid evidence, but the basics are all present and correct. Two footed, with great vision and capable of the all-important moment of magic that separates the great from the good, a loan move to Fluminense has given him the chance of regular football that any young creative player needs to grow.
And so far he has grown. A good start including chipping in with a goal or two has seen confidence swell and despite lacking a consistent level of performance, he has shown occasional flashes of what may be. These are the fledgling days of Lanzini’s career, he could go either way and it’s this season rather than the last that will give a true indication of where his future may be headed.
“Barely got a chance to play a part as River Plate tried (and ultimately failed) to avoid relegation with an increasingly conservative team in which Erik Lamela was the only creative midfielder. The loan spell he's now embarked on in Brazil will do him good, and reports suggest he's started well” – Sam Kelly (Hasta El Gol Siempre)
“The latest Argentine playmaker to try his hand in Brazil, Lanzini has impressed (if intermittently) at Fluminense. Very lightweight, but with dancing feet and an eye for a pass” – Jack Lang (Snap, Káka and Pop!)
C- This mark could be a lot higher next year, show us what you’ve got.