West Ham United were in a for a shock this week as they got the news that Aaron Cresswell has been ruled out for four months with a knee ligament injury, suffered in the 3-0 pre-season win over Karlsruher on at the weekend. Cresswell started 37 of West Ham’s 38 Premier League games last season and was one of the stalwarts in that Hammers squad. Although West Ham have focused primarily on bringing a striker in this summer, they appear to be relatively short defensively following the departure of James Tomkins to Crystal Palace.
With no other recognized left-back in the squad to replace Cresswell, Bilic might be forced to dip into his transfer kitty to purchase a quality left back, who can cover for the English player at least till the turn of the year. Youngster Stephen Hendrie has already joined Blackburn on a season-long loan and deploying players like Sam Byram and Angelo Ogbonna at left-back would be placing square pegs in round holes. Cresswell has been one of the most consistent performers for West Ham over the last two seasons, therefore it is important that Bilic focuses on getting an able replacement in the coming few weeks. Here are 3 players that West Ham should consider to replace Aaron Cresswell.
Following Aston Villa’s relegation from the Premier League, many players are looking to make a move up to the top division with a new team this summer and West Ham could be an option for Amavi. The 22-year-old is highly rated in his native France and did well in the limited time he had as a first team player with Villa last season before succumbing to injury. He will be a perfect replacement for Cresswell, given his lightning speed and solid defensive awareness when tracking back.
Patrick Van Aanholt
The former Chelsea player has really improved since joining the Black Cats two years ago. In his 61 appearances for the club, the Dutchman has gone to score four times, something that will definitely interest Bilic. He is a force going forward, however sometimes his defending is a cause for concern but at 25, he is just hitting his peak years, and therefore an opportunity to move a better club will be highly tempting. Under contract till 2022, it will take a minimum bid of around £8million to lure him away from the Stadium of Light.
Gibbs has found first-team opportunities hard to come by over the last couple of years due to the meteoric rise of Nacho Monreal. He only made 15 appearances for the club last season, something that dented his hopes of securing a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the Euros. With Monreal firmly placed as the first choice left-back, Gibbs could be tempted to join the Hammers. The England international will be a quality addition to the West Ham team, providing pace and solidity on the left side.