West Ham's Aaron Cresswell outperforms £30m star, England's next left-back?

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Only Leighton Baines has been outperforming West Ham's Aaron Cresswell this season.


Is Aaron Cresswell destined to be England's next left-back?

The £2 million signing from Ipswich Town has been impressing in the Premier League for West Ham, and Leighton Baines is the only English left-back who statistically has been performing at a higher level.

He has been far brighter than Manchester United's £30 million summer addition Luke Shaw, who is yet to show his best form at Old Trafford.

Cresswell's performances have seen his attacking instincts come to the fore, making an average of 11.8 passes per game in the final third, compared to Shaw's 3.3.

As seen above, this is above the current first choice for England, Leighton Baines, who does however hold up strongly compared to the West Ham man in a number of areas.

Leighton BainesAaron CresswellKieran GibbsLuke Shaw
Crossing Accuracy
31% 24% 23% 18%
Shot Assist / game
1.55 1.09 0.63 0.83
Goal Assist / game
0.18 0.18 0.13 0
Total Cross / game
3.18 3.45 3.75 2.83
Passing Accuracy
86% 70% 84% 84%
Times in Final Third / game
8.82 11.82 7.13 3.33
11 11 8 6
Mins Played
990 990 667 521

Cresswell's passing accuracy is lower than Baines, Shaw and Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, and this is clearly an area he will want to work on, and may come down to his attacking style of play. 

The defender has been one of the more low-key additions this Premier League season, but also the most effective, with his crossing rate bearing a 24 per cent accuracy compared to Luke Shaw's 18 per cent.

It should also be noted, from an England perspective, that the Hammers play a similar system to Roy Hodgson's England with a diamond midfield formation, requiring him to get up and down the flanks to attack and defend.

If Hodgson is seeking an understudy for Leighton Baines, as the Everton man once was for Ashley Cole, it could be that Cresswell rather than his Manchester United and Arsenal rivals, becomes the best bet.

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