Managerial arrivals always lead to a change in fortunes for players at any given club. While some suddenly find themselves frozen out of the first-team picture despite holding down considerable status before, others soon emerge from the fringes of the squad to become key players. West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku, since the appointment of David Moyes, firmly belongs in the latter category.
The Frenchman earned due praise for his role in the 1-0 win over Chelsea earlier this month, completing an incredible eleven dribbles as Moyes recorded his first victory since succeeding Slaven Bilic – all the more incredibly against the reigning champions.
Masuaku has very much gone on to make the left wing-back role his own, to the extent that Moyes felt compelled not to rest him in the League Cup last night, and his performance against Arsenal only provided further evidence of how the 24-year-old has improved exponentially under the Scot.
Indeed, despite the 1-0 encounter at the Emirates Stadium being a largely drab affair, Masuaku remained a real force for the visitors both offensively and defensively. While weighing in with five dribbles and four crosses, he also completed seven tackles and five interceptions. But perhaps most tellingly of how influential he was for the Hammers, Masuaku had the most touches of the ball of any Irons player.
It’s a far cry from the form Masuaku – who Transfermarkt value at £6.3million – produced at the start of the season, when he drew criticism for abject marking at set pieces against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Moyes is clearly getting the best out of the former Olympiacos man and will be hoping he has the same impact when West Ham host Newcastle on Saturday.