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West Ham, after 36 games in the Premier League, unexpectedly for many of its rivals, is in 7th place with 59 points in the league and real chances to play in European competitions for the first time since the 2016/17 season. Ahead of the finish of the season, decided, that it’s time to talk about one of the less-noticed leaders: Aaron Cresswell, who didn’t play for just three times this season.

In the press, a series of successful matches of the London team is usually associated with the excellent management of David Moyes, or with the newly unveiled talent of Jesse Lingard (Ferguson was not mistaken about him after all!). The Englishman was named a Player of Month in April with 4 + 1 and snagged the Best Goal award for the one against Wolverhampton.

However, few pay attention to Aaron Cresswell, West Ham defender. He is not that big for the defensive player (5’9″ / 66kg), but Aaron managed to lift the pressure off the left flank. The East London team conceded 46 goals in 36 games: 10th in the league (slightly more than Manchester United (43), Everton (43) , Tottenham (41), which are ranked 6th, 7th and 4th in terms of conceded goals, respectively. This is, in many ways, thanks to the defensive work of Cresswell.

Aaron is consistently the main player of the main squad regardless of the formation that David Moyes chooses for opponents. Be it 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-2-1, you can be sure an Englishman will play the entire game without substitution.

This season, the 31-year-old defender played 34 out of 37 possible matches (missed only the 1/16 FA Cup final against Doncaster and 2 games in EPL), having spent a total of 2992 minutes on the field (the best player on the team by this indicator, matched only to Tomas Soucek). He made about 1 interception and 1 selection per match and got an average score of 7.1 per game.

For comparison, only 4 defenders (including Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson) played more than Aaron in the 2020/21 Premier League. This deserves special attention in light of the busy calendar this season of the Premier League.

Aaron Cresswell, West Ham

The defender is almost the most underestimated player of the Hammers at the moment, despite the accurate play in defence (only 3 yellow cards, more than 50% of tackles won), as well as the largest number of key passes / 90 minutes among other players on the team.

Aaron Cresswell managed to make 7 assists and created 10 Big Chances, which is the 1st result in the current Premier League season among defenders. The player overtook Andrew Robertson, Luke Shaw, TAA and other eminent league fullbacks, for which Transfermarket gives more than  £ 5.4 million (this is how much Cresswell costs according to the resource).

The left-back is an indispensable player on the Moyes team. It was all the more interesting to observe how and with whom the Scottish coach replaced Aaron in the matches against Chelsea and Newcastle.

Let’s hope that Aaron will have time to recover for the end of the season, help West Ham finish it in the top 6, and then maybe Gareth Southgate will finally call him for the national team.