Masuaku contract extension indicates Pellegrini's intentions
(PHOTO: Arfa Griffiths / Getty Images)

Despite a fairly inconsistent spell so far in East London, the West Ham full-back has been given a boost by boss Manuel Pellegrini since returning from the African Cup of Nations. 

The Congolese defender has been awarded a five-year extension to his contract with the Hammers which is set to see him stay until 2024. 

Vote of confidence

The decision to offer an extension serves as a ‘vote of confidence’, indicating the manager’s intentions to feature Masuaku in a back four alongside Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks.

Since arriving in the summer of 2016, the Congolese international has competed with Aaron Cresswell for a position in the starting XI.

However, Cresswell’s gradual decline along with the former Olympiakos man’s recovery from a knee injury has seen him feature more prominently under Manuel Pellegrini, making 23 Premier League appearances last term compared to just 13 in his debut year.

Some rumours suggested that West Ham would delve into the market to strengthen their options at left-back, however, Masuaku’s significantly improved form towards the end of last season seems to have convinced the club otherwise.

Tactical profile

Having completed more dribbles (119) than any other defender since the start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign, Masuaku’s attacking threat cannot be questioned.

He will be looking to provide West Ham’s new centre-forward Sebastien Haller with plenty of deliveries from wide areas this season, using his impressive skill to combine with Felipe Anderson on the left flank.

However, despite his ability to glide past the opposition when going forward, the man dubbed ‘King Arthur’ still needs to improve defensively. At times he seems to lack awareness, often failing to track the opposition winger’s runs inside from wide areas.

His performance in last November’s 4-0 defeat at home to Manchester City was memorable for all of the wrong reasons, and he was subsequently hauled off at half-time after a catalogue of errors.

Many West Ham fans will be happy to see Arthur Masuaku in the team throughout the 2019/20 season. If he continues to develop, improving his defensive contribution, he could become an integral part of Pellegrini’s exciting, attacking side.

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