Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson has savaged West Ham United fullback Arthur Masuaku in a damning assessment.
Masuaku has come in for renewed criticism this season after making a string of costly errors for West Ham.
The quick and skilful DR Congo international seemed to have turned his Hammers career around under David Moyes last season.
After a dreadful start under Slaven Bilic, Moyes deployed Masuaku as a winger or wing-back.
And that seemed to get the best out of his ability going forward.
‘King’ Arthur’s crown has slipped
But Manuel Pellegrini has been using him as a left-back again this season and his costly defensive errors have come to the fore again.
Masuaku was hauled off at half-time during the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City and benched for the 3-0 win at Newcastle.
Aaron Cresswell was preferred instead. And he looked to be getting back to his best before being forced off through injury at St James’ Park.
That will be a big concern for Pellegrini if Thompson’s damning assessment on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday is anything to go by.
‘His defending is dreadful’
“I think Pellegrini realised after 45 minutes (that he had made a mistake playing Masuaku at leftback against City),” Thompson told Sky Sports.
“This boy doesn’t sense danger at all. He was culpable for three (of the four) goals. Doesn’t close down, not close enough to his man at all, ambling… not twisting his head at all (to watch his runner).
“His defending is dreadful. He costs them, he has cost them.
Pellegrini faces headache after Cresswell injury
“I’m not trying to hammer the lad but what I’m saying is he’s best if they’re going to play a wing-back system. It’s absolutely no surprise (he was on the bench against Newcastle).”
It is not yet known how bad Cresswell’s injury is.
But Pellegrini may have to reassess his options.
Because even in the short time Masuaku was on the pitch after replacing Cresswell he allowed Newcastle in on numerous occasions.