West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell has improved massively from a year ago and is now one of the first names on the team sheet.
Last year Aaron Cresswell was in the midst of a relegation battle and fans could see that was potentially the end of the line for the defender. Fast forward a year the West Ham defender has become one of the most unique defenders in the Premier League.
Cresswell made his name as a left-back with a wicked left-foot. The Englishman had a brilliant cross on him and could defend well, so much, so he was called up by the national side in 2016. The defender then suffered a bad knee ligament injury which has affected his game in recent seasons.
Current manager, David Moyes, has revitalised Cresswell with a small positional change. Moving the defender from left-back to left-centre-back in part of a back-three has brought the best out of Cresswell’s game.
The new position has allowed the former Ipswich Town youngster more freedom, knowing he has the Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku in support. The extra defender helps Cresswell in his defensive responsibilities, something he had started to be exposed for.
But now the Englishman has formed a great partnership with Masuaku on the left-side of defence. The position used to the Hammer’s weakest chain in their armour, but it has now become one of their strongest.
The extra support in the defence has also allowed Cresswell the freedom to advance and delivery crosses from deep. This crossing ability has been devasting for the opposition as the defender has already picked up three assists this season. A massive improvement from last year, when in the entire campaign Cresswell did not assist a single goal.
Gareth Southgate‘s England team play a very similar defensive system to Moyes’ West Ham side. This would mean that Cresswell would fit in perfectly into the left-centre-back-role. Arguably the defender could be more successful playing balls forward for attackers such as Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling.
Cresswell is now 30-years-old and may not have too long left at the top of his game. But while he is at the top, he deserves to be recognised by Southgate and to be given another chance for the Three Lions.