Arthur Masuaku could make his international debut in the break as he has been called up by the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

DR Congo have two vital games coming up and they have decided to call upon Masuaku.

Having represented France up to under-19 level, the Lille-born defender has decided to represent DR Congo.

Alongside fellow English-based players, like Yannick Bolasie and Benik Afobe, Masuaku will hope to claim victory for his country.

But who is he playing? What do the games mean for DR Congo? And can this help West Ham?

In our last international focus piece, we take a closer look at what Masuaku will be up to in the coming days.

Fixtures

DR Congo have two crucial games coming up – both of which are against Zimbabwe.

Both fixtures are AFCON Group G qualifiers and the two sides are poised on four points after each facing Liberia and Congo.

Masuaku’s men host the first game in Kinshasa on Saturday and then travel to Harare – the Zimbabwean capital – for the reverse fixture on Tuesday.

The top two in the group qualify for the finals in Cameroon next March.

Will he play?

DR Congo boss Florent Ibenge might not risk Masuaku in these games because it is his debut.

 

But Masuaku is probably the country’s most gifted natural left-back so he might be given his chance to shine.

Alternatively, Masuaku might be used as a winger.

The West Ham man would be competing with Bolasie (Aston Villa), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) and ex-Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta for a starting spot.

Who is he up against?

Darikwa and Sam Byram vied for the right-back spot at Nottingham Forest. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

There are not many household names in Zimbabwean football. But English football fans might recognise the right-back.

Tendayi Darikwa could line up as Masuaku’s opposite man in these games. He plays for Nottingham Forest.

Aside from Darikwa, there are no other English-based players. But some are plying their trade in Europe.

Marvelous Nakamba, 24, and Knowledge Musona, 28, both play in Belgium.

How can this help West Ham?

Masuaku was at fault for Glenn Murray’s goal in the 1-0 loss to Brighton. Consequently, his position in the side is under scrutiny.

The 24-year-old’s defensive abilities have been questioned constantly by fans and Aaron Cresswell could be in line for a recall.

But if Masuaku performs well in these international games, he could convince Manuel Pellegrini to keep him in the starting line-up.

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