So far this season, Cresswell has impressed over his 24 Premier League appearances in David Moyes’ side, registering six assists and averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.84 – ranking him as the Hammers’ ninth-best performer in the top flight.
However, what makes the £5.85 million-rated 31-year-old’s performances all the more impressive is that, in half of his league appearances, the left-back has been deployed in the middle of the Hammers’ defence.
And, the defender’s impressive displays were one topic of conversation on a recent episode of the U Irons podcast, in which Delaney stated his belief that the £50k-per-week man has become Moyes’ secret weapon in his West Ham side.
He said: “He’s older, he suffered an injury a while back, which means that he never quite recovered his full pace that he used to have, and it’s exhausting for him to get up and down [the left wing].
“But, at left centre-back, he’s like a secret weapon, because he’s extremely tidy in defence but, usually, no one is expecting your centre-back to be a threat going forward.
“He takes up that deep position on the left and receives balls from whoever’s playing at left wing-back and delivers beautiful crosses from there – which is not always a position that the opposition are ready for you to be attacking from.
“You’re not accounting for someone in that position to be attacking, you’ve got your eyes on the wingers and the forwards and the running midfielders, but when you add an extra centre-back to that whole mix, it’s just one extra headache for the defenders.
“Cresswell has just been sensational. He’s a shout, surely, with all of those assists, for Hammer of the Season.”
Has Cresswell been your player of the year?
TIF Thoughts on Sam Delaney’s comments regarding Aaron Cresswell…
When comparing Cresswell’s displays at left-back and centre-back, the England international has, as Delaney points out, performed much better in his new position, providing two assists and averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.61 from his natural spot at left-back, compared to supplying four assists and averaging a match rating of 7.08 when deployed in the heart of the defence.
As such, it would indeed appear as if Cresswell is something of a secret weapon for Moyes in his West Ham side, and something, in our opinion, that could well have helped West Ham to achieve their current lofty position of fifth place in the Premier League standings.