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West Ham manager Pellegrini absolutely right to play Cresswell over Masuaku

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Arthur Masuaku has spoken to Manuel Pellegrini about his role and future at West Ham United, according to Football Insider.

The 26-year-old is said to have been left frustrated by his lack of game time in recent months, after being omitted from the side in all of their last six league games, apart from the Everton match which Aaron Cresswell missed through injury.

Pellegrini has reassured the Democratic Republic of Congo international about his status at the club, indicating he can be reinstated into the team if he impresses in training.

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While there is a chance Masuaku could find himself back in the starting lineup, Pellegrini has been right to leave him out due to the events following the careless red card picked up against Aston Villa.

This is the case even if his performances before then, specifically the Man of the Match performance against Norwich City in which he assisted Sebastien Haller, are taken into account.

Cresswell, who hadn’t played in the league since the 5-0 mauling against Manchester City, came in against Manchester United and made himself undroppable.

Upon his return, Cresswell beat David de Gea with a sublime free-kick to secure a 2-0 win and he followed that up with a volley against AFC Bournemouth to steal a point.

His level has since dropped in tandem with the rest of the team, but the 29-year-old still has an average of 1.6 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1.1 clearances per game, while maintaining a pass success rate of 81.4%.

Who should Manuel Pellegrini use at left-back?

Arthur Masuaku

Arthur Masuaku

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell

Since the two yellow cards at Villa park saw Masuaku given his marching orders, he has had two opportunities to impress Pellegrini but slipped up both times.

The first of those was in a literal sense, as he lost his footing, allowing Tarique Fosu-Henry to run through and score Oxford United’s third goal on what was a humiliating evening for the club.

His other chance came against Everton, but he didn’t cover himself in glory there either, as his weak attempt at a tackle on Bernard allowed the Brazilian to skip through and score the game’s opener.

When all of the above is considered, it is very difficult to argue that Masuaku has deserved to start ahead of Cresswell.

Article title: West Ham manager Pellegrini absolutely right to play Cresswell over Masuaku

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