Craig Dawson may have lost his place in West Ham’s starting XI following the arrival of Champions League winner Kurt Zouma this summer but he has arguably been one of the most underrated players since David Moyes’ return.
The 31-year-old veteran originally joined the Irons on loan from Watford in October 2020 and soon kept four clean sheets in as many appearances for the club.
By the end of the season, the east Londoners made the move permanent for a bargain £2m.
Dawson has since featured 32 times in all competitions, in which he has won 20 of those matches and lost only six times. That is a win percentage of 62.5% and has coincided with the Hammers’ impressive rise into the Europa League.
In fact, Moyes’ men have not lost with Dawson featuring since May this year, a 1-0 defeat to Everton.
His impact at the London Stadium has been something previously noted by former Arsenal defender and BT Sport commentator Martin Keown.
“I think Dawson is a great bit of business. [James] Tarkowski was meant to be coming in for £35m and Moyes has said no, I don’t pay that sort of money. He came in as fourth choice and now he’s key,” he said to talkSPORT.
It isn’t the first time that the 6 foot 2 colossus, who earns around £42.5k-per-week, has been praised for his ability.
Irons assistant manager Stuart Pearce dubbed him an “incredible kid” who is a “pleasure to work with” to talkSPORT (Wednesday 20 January, 8:30am), whilst former Hammers defender Anton Ferdinand has described him as a “leader” too.
Dawson may well have lost his place in Moyes’ starting XI in the league but evidently, he’s a more than reliable backup to have. His record since joining is pretty outstanding. His four starts have even earned a better rating than Angelo Ogbonna, as per WhoScored, so perhaps that is something the Scotsman should be considering – a Dawson and Zouma partnership.
Whilst the likes of Declan Rice and Michail Antonio often take the plaudits for West Ham’s fine form under Moyes, the 31-year-old beast has been an underrated unsung hero since the manager took the dugout for the second time.