West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell names Ashley Cole as his footballing idol

Aaron Cresswell

Former Chelsea star Ashley Cole had a lasting impact on West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell.

West Ham United left-back Aaron Cresswell has told reporters that former Chelsea star Ashley Cole was the player he looked up to most growing up, per the Daily Mail.

The 25-year-old former winger joined the Hammers last summer, trading Championship outfit Ipswich Town for the Premier League for a fee which surpassed the £3 million mark - as reported by Sky Sports.

Many fans had initial doubts over the youngster, especially considering the fact that he moved to East London still relatively inexperienced and small in stature.

However, his performances during his debut campaign have proved that his rather diminutive figure has had little bearing on his ability to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League.

After recently collecting the Hammers’ Player of the Year award, Cresswell remained philosophical on his role as an attacking full-back and cited former Chelsea man Ashley Cole as an inspiration.

“The modern full-back has to get forward more, he gets a bit more glory and gets assists and goals. No kid grows up wanting it - they want to be a striker getting the glory, but it’s more fashionable now,” he said.

“Ashley Cole was the one I watched when I was growing up. For 10 years he has probably been the best left-back. Leighton Baines has also been fantastic. I like watching him.”

  AssistsChances CreatedChances Created OpenplayAppearances
Leighton Baines 9 70 38 31
Aaron Cresswell 4 33 24 36

Cresswell has been a wonderful addition to the Premier League’s attacking full-back ranks but, as per the table by Opta Stats, he has some way to go before catching up with his upcoming opponent.

The Hammers host Everton on Saturday, and it provides an opportunity for the Upton Park hero to take a closer look at the Premier League’s most creative full-back in Leighton Baines.

The Toffees ace has created as many as 70 chances for his teammates this season, 37 more than Cresswell, with 14 of those coming in open play.

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