It had been hoped that Arthur Masuaku was close to returning to action for West Ham. The defender has been out since December after having surgery on a knee injury. The issue had been causing pain to the defender during the previous two seasons. Masuaku’s recovery had been looking good, as David Moyes told people he had returned to jogging a couple of weeks ago.
The expectation for Masuaku was that he would be back on the pitch before the end of March, which was already later than first expected. Now it is believed that the defender won’t be back to full fitness until the middle of April, and that is if everything goes perfectly to plan.
Before his surgery, Masuaku was enjoying arguably his best-ever run of form in a West Ham shirt and was crucial to the system of the team. Playing as a left-wing-back with Aaron Cresswell supporting him from a left-centre-back position was working wonders in the Premier League.
West Ham’s mercurial wing-back Arthur Masuaku has been on the medical table for over two months and is expected to remain there for at least another month.
The team have coped since Masuaku’s injury and are now challenging in the Champions Leauge places. Surprisingly the defence has been solid since it returned to a back-four. Cresswell has returned to the left-back role and looks reborn. Due to the team’s success, it does seem unlikely Moyes will switch back to the five-back system that suited Masuaku upon his return.
The team has occasionally flirted with the idea of returning to the system when playing against the most dangerous attacks in the league. Either Ryan Fredericks has come into the team and played ahead of Vladimir Coufal on the right-side. The left-side has seen Academy graduate Ben Johnson take up Masuaku’s position as a left-wing-back.
Johnson is naturally a right-sided player but has done well at times on the opposite side. Last time out, the 20-year-old did have a wake-up call as he faced Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez. The defender would have learned some key lessons on marking players during a match after allowing the Belgian to assist the opening goal.