West Ham vs Chelsea: Manuel Lanzini enjoying post-Dimitri Payet 'pressure'

Tom Doyle

Manuel Lanzini insists Dimitri Payet's West Ham departure is allowing him to thrive under the pressure as the Hammers welcome Premier League leaders Chelsea tonight.

West Ham were dealt a shock this winter as star winger Payet demanded to leave London Stadium, with the France international eventually rejoining his former club Marseille for £25million.

The exit of Payet was another setback in what had become a difficult season for Slaven Bilic, as the Hammers looked in danger of a potential relegation battle following a poor start to the campaign.

But the east London club have not imploded since Payet's transfer, and 24-year-old Argentine midfielder Lanzini says he is ready to shoulder more responsibility - starting against Antonio Conte's Chelsea tonight.

(Getty Images)

"I like this pressure," Lanzini told the club's official website. "I like to take the ball and play for the team and I need this for my personality.

"I need the pressure and I need to feel that the team is relying on me. This is important for me."

Lanzini is hoping to carry his fine recent form over to tonight's match, adding: "The team is good and we’re playing good football at the moment and this is important."