Speaking to the official West Ham website, Aaron Cresswell claimed that Andy Carroll is in a ‘different class’ when it comes to heading ability, and is hoping that he can start to hit the back of the net for the Hammers.
Cresswell said: “Andy is a fantastic player, his heading ability is different class and it’s a massive boost for him coming back. The fans gave him a great reception and hopefully he can get some goals for us.”
Carroll is well regarded for his heading ability, and calling him different class may not be too far off the mark.
Last season, Carroll was utilised in the first-team when fit as an option to change style of football, allowing Sam Allardyce to play a more direct style.
He won an incredible 8.6 aerial duels per game, 2.1 more than his closest competitor Christian Benteke, and 3.8 per game more than the highest rated defender, Federico Fazio of Spurs.
He played just 14 games, but still scored five goals, and he is undoubtedly the most aerially dominant player in the Hammers side, with Diafra Sakho managing just 3.7 headers per game last term.
Carroll has now returned to match action, making a short cameo on Monday evening against former club Newcastle. The 26-year-old had little time to truly show himself off against the Magpies, and he did not even attempt an aerial duel, but with time and match fitness he will start to show his worth again.
If Carroll enjoys a full season of action in the Premier League, West Ham have a real player on their hands, and Cresswell believes his ‘different class’ ability will prove vital to the Hammers.