West Ham have been handed a timely injury boost ahead of the Premier League’s return next weekend…
The 27-year-old left-back has yet to be named in any of David Moyes’ three matchday squads but he has been keeping up his fitness levels by playing for the U23s squad in the Premier League 2.
Masuaku featured for the full 90 minutes in their wins over Arsenal and Chelsea and during their defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. An encouraging sign.
It was also claimed in the report that there were no plans to farm the DR Congo international out on loan or sell him on, so that only goes to show what the Hammers’ boss thinks of him.
Masuaku is certainly not the first choice in the current squad, with Aaron Cresswell taking that crown, but having him fit and available is certainly a big boost to Moyes.
If the Englishman were to get injured, then the 5 foot 10 dynamo is his only senior back-up, whilst at times last season, the pair of them played together when the 58-year-old wanted to deploy a back-three.
He started ten of their opening 11 matches in 2020/21 and that was largely with Cresswell making up the backline as a left-sided centre-half.
His return allows Moyes to be flexible in his tactics, something that he may not be able to do without Masuaku at his disposal, given his lack of options in the role.
Despite a lack of game time last season, Masuaku still managed to top the charts for dribbles per game (2.4), which was more than Cresswell (0.1) and even the likes of Michail Antonio (1.7), Said Benrahma (1.4), and Jesse Lingard (1.1), per WhoScored.
This suggests that he’s very much one of Moyes’ more attacking defensive options and could be one reason why he likes to deploy him alongside Cresswell at times.
The 27-year-old isn’t bad defensively either, having averaged 1.7 tackles per game (joint-third most).
Valued at £6.3m and on wages of around £40k-per-week, Masuaku’s presence on the pitch will certainly be needed, especially when the games come thick and fast with the Hammers in the Europa League this season.
After returning against Southampton next Saturday, the Irons will head to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday, before returning to England to host Jesse Lingard’s Manchester United in back-to-back matches.
Cresswell won’t be able to play them all, so his availability should come as a timely and big boost.