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Aaron Cresswell should go down as a legend at West Ham

With West Ham United having another fine campaign after last season’s heroics that saw the Hammers finish sixth, plenty of praise has been directed towards numerous players in David Moyes’ squad.

However, with the left-back now in his eighth season at the east London club, Aaron Cresswell is one that constantly seems to go under the radar, with the Englishman being labelled “an unsung hero” by Tony Cascarino on talkSPORT earlier this season.

The 32-year-old has played 19 games in the Premier League as well as six across the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup this season and is pivotal to Moyes’ setup.

However, the £53k per-week left-back was out injured for the whole of December, with the Hammers certainly suffering a slight dip over the festive period with Cresswell absent, dropping points against the likes of Brighton, Burnley and Southampton.

Since signing from Ipswich Town in July 2014, the Englishman has gone on to make 276 appearances for the Hammers, assisting 34 goals and scoring nine himself. The only current player to have been in the first-team set up at West Ham longer is Mark Noble, who is set to depart this summer, therefore, making Cresswell the Hammers’ longest-servant from next season (should he stay).

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The fact that GSB haven’t opted to sign a new first-choice left-back in the almost eight years since signing Cresswell highlights how impressive the 32-year-old has been in claret and blue.

In terms of current full-back options, Arthur Masuaku is the club’s only other senior left-back with the DR Congo international failing to pin down a regular starting spot in the place of Cresswell since signing from Olympiakos in 2016.

Last season, the left-back was also used as a left centre-back in a three-man defence at times, with Sam Delaney saying to the U Irons podcast: “He’s older, he suffered an injury a while back, which means that he never quite recovered his full pace that he used to have, and it’s exhausting for him to get up and down [the left wing].

“But, at left centre-back, he’s like a secret weapon, because he’s extremely tidy in defence but, usually, no one is expecting your centre-back to be a threat going forward.

“He takes up that deep position on the left and receives balls from whoever’s playing at left wing-back and delivers beautiful crosses from there – which is not always a position that the opposition are ready for you to be attacking from.

Is Cresswell a West Ham legend?

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“You’re not accounting for someone in that position to be attacking, you’ve got your eyes on the wingers and the forwards and the running midfielders, but when you add an extra centre-back to that whole mix, it’s just one extra headache for the defenders.

“Cresswell has just been sensational. He’s a shout, surely, with all of those assists, for Hammer of the Season.”

With Cresswell’s current deal set to expire next summer, the left-back may soon enter his final year as a Hammer, however, regardless of the 32-year-old’s decision on his future, he should surely go down as a legend in east London.

In other news: GSB closing in on “massive statement” at West Ham, it could secure them UCL

Article title: Aaron Cresswell should go down as a legend at West Ham

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