Bilic highlights what's so special about Cresswell - stats prove him right

Aaron Cresswell

The West Ham boss has praised the 25-year-old left-back.

West Ham United head coach Slaven Bilic is delighted with the amount of 'skilful' players his side boasts, according to the Daily Mirror.

And the Croat has singled out Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini - & full-back Aaron Cresswell.

Indeed, Bilic feels what makes the West Ham defender so special is his ability - and willingness - to play as well as defend.

Cresswell enjoyed a superb debut campaign at Upton Park and, a poor Bournemouth game aside (where he wasn't alone in performing badly), the left-back has very much continued in the same vein this term.

Bilic is quoted as telling reporters: "You can’t have more skilful people on the pitch than we have. We have Lanzini, we have Payet, we have Cresswell, who is not a left-back who is big and strong, he is also someone who likes to play."

As Opta stats show, Bilic isn't wrong...

 2015/16 Chances CreatedDribblesAccurate CrossesFinal-Third EntriesFinal-Third PassesMinutes Played
Dimitri Payet 19 14 8 34 83 538
Aaron Cresswell 7 5 3 58 40 540
Cheikhou Kouyaté 4 2 0 28 25 436
Mark Noble 4 7 0 43 59 528

Indeed, Cresswell has created more chances than any West Ham player except Dimitri Payet. The 25-year-old full-back has also fared relatively well in terms of dribbles, accurate crosses and final-third passes.

But the Hammers left-back's most impressive contribution is the fact he has entered the final third more than any of his team-mates so far this Premier League season.

No wonder Bilic is so full of praise for Cresswell, then, and another manager needs to be taking note, too, in the shape of Roy Hodgson...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch