From once being one of the first names on the team sheet at the London Stadium, West Ham United left back Aaron Cresswell is surely now edging ever closer to finding himself on the chopping block in January.
His exit was considered this summer, when Football Insider reported that Premier League rivals Everton had come in for him, but Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini opted to keep him around.
However, if it wasn’t clear before, then after Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Norwich City it is abundantly obvious: the England international is firmly behind starting left back Arthur Masuaku in the pecking order in east London.
With the 25-year-old continuing to excel, it leaves Cresswell increasingly at risk of being booted out in a few month’s time. With young starlet Ben Johnson at the club, as well, it’s not as if he’d be missed.
The former Ipswich Town man has played twice in all competitions this season, enduring a nightmare outing against Manchester City on the opening day, and then struggling through a vanilla affair against Newport County in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
When you look at the statistics from this campaign’s Premier League action, it’s easy to see how far behind Masuaku Cresswell is at present.
As per WhoScored.com, the DR Congo international leads the way in all but three major defensive statistical categories. He’s producing way more tackles, interceptions and clearances per game, the three tenets of effective defensive play. Furthermore, he is being dribbled past less often than the Englishman, previously a knock on Masuaku.
It’s a similar story in an attacking sense, too, where the younger man beats the 29-year-old Cresswell out in all but one major offensive statistical category.
Clearly things aren’t looking good for the long-time Hammer. He’s lost his first team spot, and is now swallowing up wages for doing largely nothing. With Masuaku playing lights out football at the moment, it would surprise no one if Cresswell was shipped off in January.