David Moyes showed again how much he values Arthur Masuaku on Monday by chucking him straight back into the West Ham side for the win over Wolves.
The DR Congo international has been missing from the squad since 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United in December. He’d been sidelined with a knee injury for over four months, but showed little signs of discomfort as we won 3-2 at Molineux.
The 27-year-old played for 69 minutes and marked his return with an assist. He steered into the path of Pablo Fornals after 14 minutes played to put us 2-0 up. It capped off an excellent display from Masuaku, who’s been sorely missed in the XI.
Back with a bang
Considering the number of injury concerns we’ve had as of late, it was nice to see an important player back in the side. Moyes has always been a big fan of Masuaku, the wing-back played his best football under the Scot during his first reign.
Having spent four months out of the side Moyes didn’t hesitate to chuck him straight back in. It was a big call, but one that paid off. Masuaku provided extra cover for Aaron Cresswell, who was left exposed against Arsenal a couple of weeks prior.
The number 26 made nine interceptions and won possession back five times. He doubled up on Adama Traore well with Cresswell – the Spaniard had to swap flanks to get any joy.
It wasn’t just defensively he was sound, either. Masuaku completed 81% of his passes successfully, including his ball to Fornals for our second. He also completed 67% of crosses and 60% of dribbles – not bad for a man who’d been out since early December [Wyscout].
In truth, despite our standing in the table, we really have missed Masuaku. He gives us balance in the 5-3-2 formation, and Lingard aside, he is the strongest dribbler at the club.
He also supports Cresswell very well. Our number three is a good defender, but is often caught out for his lack of pace. Masuaku is rapid – he’s a match for anyone on his day and proved this against Traore.
Despite losing Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, West Ham are still a strong side. We should be full of confidence ahead of the Leicester clash, who themselves, are missing key players.