Arthur Masuaku has more than earned his place in West Ham United’s side over the past few years and was deservedly rewarded for his form by Manuel Pellegrini with a new deal.
The 25-year-old signed a new contract over the summer that will run until 2024, a long-term deal that represents his worth to the Hammers. Despite that vote of confidence, Masuaku was missing from the entire squad for their Premier League opener against Manchester City on Saturday.
A report from Football.London revealed that Masuaku missed the fixture because he was simply not selected, with the possibility he was rested because of his involvement in the African Cup of Nations for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Either way, the missing Masuaku was a huge loss for the Hammers, and Pellegrini was quickly made to regret his decision against City, who romped to a 5-0 victory at the London Stadium.
Aaron Cresswell filled the role with the captain’s armband and was made to look like an amateur player by the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling.
The proof that Cresswell hasn’t been up to the task has been there for all to see throughout the past, and today was the icing on the cake for the 29-year-old.
When you compare the two via WhoScored and how they performed last season, it is hard to make a case to support Pellegrini’s decision to not select Masuaku.
The Hammers knew they would be defending for the majority of the game and Masuaku outperformed Cresswell convincingly in that department.
Masuaku averaged more tackles, interceptions, and clearances on top of winning more offsides – with the obvious proof there in writing for West Ham to see.
International duty or not, Masuaku should have been thrown into the deep end by Pellegrini, who will no doubt be regretting the decision not to deploy the 25-year-old down the left-hand-side.