It’s not always been smooth sailing for Arthur Masuaku since signing for West Ham in summer 2016. An early run of decent form was disrupted by two long-term injuries and although he began the first game of the current season in Slaven Bilic’s starting XI, the Frenchman was vilified for an unfocused performance at Old Trafford.
Instead, Aaron Cresswell has been the Hammers gaffer’s preferred choice at left-back and while his performances have apparently been good enough to claim a place in the England squad, most Irons fans would probably disagree. The 27-year-old has rarely recaptured the form of his debut season in east London since suffering two injuries in the first half of last season.
In contrast, Masuaku has taken the rare chances to impress that have come his way since the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United, scoring a superb strike against Bolton in the Carabao Cup and changing the game from the bench during West Ham’s last two Premier League outings.
Offering a more dynamic, attacking threat down the left flank, Masuaku has twice assisted goals during his last two substitute appearances with dangerous crosses into the box, first setting up Cheikhou Kouyate as West Ham staged a late comeback against Tottenham and then supplying Diafra Sakho for the winner against Swansea last Saturday.
Positive performances from the bench don’t automatically make him a deserving starter, but Bilic can’t afford to continue ignoring Masuaku’s form much longer, especially considering West Ham have endured a difficult start to the season, and eventually he’ll have to make a choice between the two-cap England international and his understudy, who Transfermarkt value at £6.3million.
So, Hammers fans, who would you start at left-back when West Ham travel to Burnley after the international break? Let us know by voting below…