Over the summer many West Ham United fans were calling for Manuel Pellegrini to sign a new left-back.

Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku were deemed not fit for purpose by many.

Indeed Cresswell was seen as the best of a bad pick for Pellegrini with Masuaku deemed a liability defensively.

Pellegrini signed six players in the summer. None of them left-backs.

Instead the Chilean took the decision to hand the much-maligned Masuaku a new deal which could stretch to seven years (whufc.com).

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Much-maligned Masuaku

Hammers skipper Mark Noble – as ever in touch with the thinking of his fellow West Ham fans – saw the funny side.

In a video on the club’s website he ribbed Masuaku as he posed with his West Ham shirt emblazoned with ‘2024’ in reference to his new deal.

Noble’s disbelief was all light-hearted fun of course. But it was a subtle nod to what some of the supporters were thinking.

Fast forward to the first international break of the season and it is suddenly looking like another Pellegrini masterstroke.

Masuaku has been excellent. Both defensively and as an attacking threat, the Congo left-back was one of the best players on the pitch in wins over Watford and Norwich.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

West Ham’s ace card

His rapid pace on the overlap with star playmaker Felipe Anderson is burgeoning into a genuine threat.

 

The 25-year-old is establishing himself as one of West Ham’s key players.

And that has been recognised outside of East London too.

WhoScored, the largest detailed football statistics website, has named Masuaku in the Premier League team of the month for August.

But that’s nothing.

Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

West Ham man gets European honour

The defender, with a 7.91 rating, was then named in WhoScored’s European team of the month for August. Masuaku was one of four Premier League players included in the XI. A phenomenal achievement.

“Another player who was left out of his side’s first match of the campaign, Masuaku has taken the left-back spot at West Ham since and his performances suggest that Aaron Cresswell may be left waiting in the wings for some time,” WhoScored said when explaining its European team of the month picks.

“The 25-year-old earned a big new contract over the summer and has repaid that faith with three impressive performances, completing 13 tackles and nine of 11 attempted dribbles.”

Now those fans who doubted him are starting to see why others were calling him King Arthur.

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