There is no doubt that West Ham United owners David Gold and David Sullivan – as well as manager Manuel Pellegrini – displayed a big show of faith when they handed left-back Arthur Masuaku a new long-term contract during the summer that extended his stay at the London Stadium until 2024, with the option of a further two years on top.
Despite being with the Irons for three years when he penned that new deal in July and saying “the club wanted me to stay”, he hadn’t established himself as the first-choice in his position with competition for the spot from Aaron Cresswell.
The Frenchman has 79 appearances in all competitions for Hammers under his belt to date, but he has had more than his fair share of disappointing performances in a claret and blue shirt.
One that springs to mind is against West Bromwich Albion not long after he signed, when he gave away a penalty as well as completely slicing a clearance up into the air and towards his own goal.
There have been plenty of other occasions where he has looked suspect defensively, with his main strength looking to be going forward – he has scored once and provided seven assists for West Ham, as per Transfermarkt.
The big positive about Masuaku is that he has the pace and stamina to get up and down the pitch from full-back, which may suit Pellegrini.
That said, he didn’t even make the matchday squad for the opening day clash against Manchester City last month as Cresswell got the nod, although the Liverpudlian hasn’t been seen in the Premier League since that 5-0 defeat and he isn’t injured.
Four successive starts for Masuaku followed, although his latest against Aston Villa ended in disappointment as he was sent off for two bookable offences in what was his first red card in a West Ham shirt.
Yes, the second one was probably the wrong decision, but the 25-year-old should have known better given he was already on a yellow.
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The dismissal came on the back of a performance where the Frenchman struggled against Villa winger Jota, while he was booked for a cynical challenge on Frederic Guilbert – no surprise then that is match rating from Football London was a measly 4/10.
Naïve and not convincing defensively again, Gold and Sullivan may be beginning to regret the faith they placed in the DR Congo international just a few months ago.