How West Ham Star Cost André Villas-Boas His Marseille Job

Manuel Lanzini, West Ham. (Photo by ALEX PANTLING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Manuel Lanzini, West Ham. (Photo by ALEX PANTLING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini has inadvertently proved to be one of the reasons André Villas-Boas left his position at french side Marseille. The manager fell out with the board because of differing transfer opinions.

During the January transfer window, Villas-Boas wanted to rebuild his Marseille side, and his top target was West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine was seen by the manager as the ideal replacement for Aston Villa bound Morgon Sanson. The manager, however, originally wanted to use Sanson as a way of securing Lanzini.

The Portuguese manager wanted to deal with the Hammers directly. Sanson, however, was sold to Villa for £14 million as the board cashed in on the midfielder. Villas-Boas still wanted to sign Lanzini and tried to make a late loan move happen.

Manuel Lanzini could have swapped West Ham for Marseille and linked up with Dimitri Payet if André Villas-Boas had his wish.

André Villas-Boas and ex-West Ham player Dimitri Payet.
André Villas-Boas and ex-West Ham player Dimitri Payet. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images) /

The loan for Lanzini never happened, and instead, Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham arrived at the French club. Villas-Boas had already made it clear to the club that he did not want to sign the Frenchman. The manager claimed that he found out about the transfer from the press.

What followed was an infamous press-conference in which Villas-Boas offered up his resignation to the club. The manager said that the transfer “had nothing to do with him” and admitted to the press that he knew nothing about the transfer.

"“It had nothing to do with me…it is a player I have precisely said no to. This player was never on our list. He finally arrived but I knew nothing about it… Because of this, I have submitted my resignation.”André Villas-Boas on Ntcham transfer"

It does beg the question, what if Villas-Boas had gotten his way. The Hammers would have lost Lanzini. Which may not have been the most significant loss in the world as the player has declined over the last couple of seasons. Lanzini would have been able to give his career a refresher in a league that would complement his play style.

West Ham would have also benefitted from the arrival of Sanson. A player that has been linked with the Hammers persistently over the last couple of seasons. The Frenchman would have helped support the midfielder as an attacker. Sanson also would have provided cover for Delcan Rice and Tomas Soucek.

No need for West Ham to press the panic button. dark. Next

It is a strange story but one that shows the importance of a good relationship between manager and club board. From a manger’s perspective, they don’t want to be sprung with unwanted players and the board getting too involved.