West Ham have made some big statements in the transfer market this summer, but the former Ipswich Town full-back Aaron Cresswell could prove to be one of the most influential.
Sam Allardyce has had an uncharacteristically active transfer window as he looks to resolve the problems that surfaced at Upton Park last campaign, and nine players have been brought in to revamp the squad.
There has been an abundance of talk about the need for West Ham to play attacking football this season as they look to climb up the Premier League table.
While you would generally look to the forward players in the team to provide this, the attacking thrust that Cresswell has supplied from left-back has been hugely conspicuous in the opening three matches.
The Hammers have, in the three league matches so far, only picked up three points but two of those matches have produced exciting and entertaining performances.
While the other against Southampton was, well, disappointing shall we say – they lost 3-1 at home, and were dismantled in the second-half.
However, as Allardyce has stated, he has not changed the style in any significant way, so perhaps it is merely the personnel change that sparked these vibrant, high energy performances against Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
You needn’t look further than the new signing, Cresswell, as to why this may be. On his Premier League debut in the 1-0 loss to Spurs he demonstrated his quality at both ends of the pitch.
His presence on the left side was remarkable as he looked to constantly bomb forward and join in with attacks. He provided great width and stretched the length of the pitch.
Cresswell was so active in the opening match that four of West Ham’s top five pass combinations involved him, his enthusiasm and desire was apparent for all to see.
Furthermore, his contributions in the passing game illuminated the fact that he registered 13 assists for Ipswich last term, an incredible feat for a full-back.
The pace, passing, and presence of Cresswell will provide an added boost that simply hasn’t been found at his position in some time and he is definitely someone worthy of getting excited about.
While the return of Matt Jarvis in the side, whom he linked up with extremely well in preseason, can only enhance his performances and contributions to the team.