West Ham United’s Gaffer confirmed that Arthur Masuaku is still managing his recovery from his knee injury. When healthy, where does he fit into the club?
Since mid-April, the 27-year-old wingback has been absent from the West Ham senior team, dealing with a long-standing knee injury. Both the setback, he played in 12 EPL matches for the club, contributing two crucial assists. Luckily for the Hammers, their other choice, Aaron Cresswell, has performed mightily.
The rest portion of his recovery is over, as Masuaku has been playing on West Ham’s U23 side for the past month and finally was able to put in a full 90 minutes last Monday in the club’s massive win over Arsenal’s PL2 side. The Congo DR international is one step closer to getting back to the senior squad, which brings up the whole point of this article.
David Moyes described the Hammers injury news yesterday during his weekly presser, having this to say about Masuaku and others:
"“We’ve got one or two knocks and niggles. We’re still trying to get Arthur Masuaku back from a knee problem. Apart from that, I think we’re pretty much okay: one or two knocks and niggles, but everything else seems okay.”"
Where does a healthy Arthur Masuaku fit in at West Ham?
Arthur Masuaku typically likes to play down the left side of the pitch and is predominantly left-footed. Much like his partner-in-crime, Aaron Cresswell, he is more dangerous on the attack than in defense. He has a dominating cross and has contributed to eight assists over his career in East London.
David Moyes (the master of redirecting players) has really two options as far as fitting in. He can leave him in his wingback role, occasionally mixing up the formations to suit Masuaku. The Gaffer’s other option is higher up on the wing. That move allows him to be able to use his pace wisely and give the Hammers some extra defensive stability down the left-hand side.
Don’t expect Moyes’ magic to give us a new striker, but Arthur Masuaku certainly has the ability to play higher up the pitch. His shining moment of the 2020/21 campaign was a key contributor to the 3-2 victory over Wolves. Jesse Lingard may have won the day with his dazzling run, but the Congolese international played a pivotal ball into Pablo Fornals to stretch the lead.
There’s not a timetable for when Arthur Masuaku should be back, but going off of logic, it will be sooner than later. Expect him to be back in the squad (on the bench) as soon as next month, giving the Gaffer more depth and possibly his first Starting XI dilemma of the campaign.