When Arthur Masuaku received his marching orders against Aston Villa, not many West Ham United fans would have been expecting Aaron Cresswell to come in and make the impact that he has.
The 29-year-old full-back has endured a contrasting few seasons at the London Stadium and has struggled to consistently nail down a starting spot under Manuel Pellegrini.
Cresswell’s place in the starting line-up is definitely secure right now for the Hammers, after scoring in consecutive fixtures in the Premier League to help his side remain unbeaten since the opening day.
His curling freekick against Manchester United helped his side to all three points, and his powerful effort away at Bournemouth salvaged a point on Saturday.
Cresswell is not only popular amongst Hammers’ fans right now, though, his form has also been rewarded in the latest weekly Sky Sports Premier League power rankings.
The left-back currently sits in 13th spot and is ahead of some of the best players in the top-flight such as Virgil van Dijk, Raheem Sterling, and Harry Kane – further highlighting his importance to the Hammers right now.
Perhaps what makes his standing even more impressive, is the fact that he is the best left-back on the list, with his nearest competitor, Andrew Robertson, 10 spots lower in 23rd.
Masuaku will surely be forced into a limited role on the sideline now given the growing importance of Cresswell and will be kicking himself for picking up that red card at Villa Park.
The English defender has excelled going forward for the Hammers in the past two fixtures and has averaged 1.7 shots on goal per game according to WhoScored this season – the fourth highest in the entire squad.
Cresswell has done well to cement his spot under Pellegrini in the past couple of games, and his inclusion in the latest Sky update only proves his growing importance to the Chilean going forward in the Premier League.