Player in Focus: Aaron Creswell

Aaron was born on 15th December 1989 and made his first team debut for Tranmere Rovers on 1st November in a League One match against Milton Keynes Dons after joining their youth team system when he was released from Liverpool where he worked his way up through the academy.

The young aspiring footballer grew up in Liverpool idolizing star striker Robbie Fowler of Liverpool. On the pitch, his performances would see his stock rise as multiple Championship sides were trying to get his signature. Although he was offered a new contract to remain at Tranmere, manager Les Parry expected Aaron to turn it down saying “Aaron has got four or five Championship clubs trying to sign him; if I had a guess I would say Aaron might be leaving us this summer.

In June 2011 Ipswich Town won the race to secure his services, with the likes of West From and Doncaster Rovers fighting for his signature. The clubs had initially failed to agree a fee and after a transfer tribunal a 3 year contract was announced. Cressy debut for the club was on 6th August 2011, starting in a 0-3 away win against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Aaron scored his first goal for Ipswich on 17th March 2012 in a 3-2 home win against Peterborough United. Making 46 appearances in all competitions in his first season at Portman Road, Cresswell won the club’s player of the year award.

He made 130 appearances for Ipswich Town over 3 years and his steady and consistent performances with Ipswich Town made Premier League sides take notice of the defender with reported interest at the time from Aston Villa.

But in July 2014 West Ham United signed him to a five year contract, reportedly worth £3.75m and made his debut against Tottenham Hotspurs in a 0-1 defeat at Boleyn Ground. Cressy scored his first goal in a 1-0 victory over Newcastle on 29th November and in 2015 was voted Hammer of the Year and Players Player of the Year.

In July 2016 Aaron suffered a knee-ligament injury in a 3-0 pre-season victory over Karlsruher SC. It was initially expected for Cresswell to be out of action for four months, but he recovered to return to first team football in a 1-0 away victory against Crystal Palace on 15th October, assisting Manual Lanzini for the winner. But 2 yellow cards in the matter of a few minutes saw him sent off, cutting his comeback short.

In September 2019, Aaron scored a 25 yard free kick against Manchester United at the London Stadium helping to securing a 2-0 victory. Hitting the back of the net again a week later in a 2-2 against Bournemouth Cresswell scored in consecutive league appearances for the first time in his career. Cressy signed a new 4 year contract to stay at West Ham until 2023. In the new system employed by Moyes this season, Cresswell is definitely a player West Ham are looking to hold on to averaging 2 key passes per 90 in the Premier League this season.

He earned his first England cap against Spain at Wembley Stadium in November 2016 but has only played 3 times for the national team.

Cresswell has become an integral member of the team, popular with players and fans alike and a committed and reliable player on the pitch. When asked about this seasons improved form Aaron says: 

“I think the togetherness we’ve got at the moment, we’ve got a very good team spirit,” he observed. “Certainly, since the lockdown last season, when we played nine games to get out of the relegation battle we were in, we did it with a couple of games to go and I think we’ve just carried that form right through up to now.”

“The league is really tight this season which means we’re right up there, so it’s a good start, but it’s still early doors.”

In Cresswell’s 7th season at West Ham, he observes that it’s “one of the best dressing rooms we’ve had here for a long time.”

This season Cressy has played in 17 premier league matches with 18 tackles and 4 assists. Most recently against Everton Aaron almost scored from a free kick and provided the assist – albeit deflected – for Soucek to score the winner in the 86th to give Moyes a first win against Everton at Goodison Park since leaving in 2013.

Cresswell has received plenty of feedback on his revised form under Moyes, which he has highlighted himself and spoke about how happy he feels in the role he is playing in the team this season.

Josh Verrills @WestHamJoshV on Twitter said: “Credit where it is due, the formation Moyes has employed this season has suited Cresswell down to the ground and he is playing better and more consistently well than he has done in the last three seasons or more. Good to see such a long serving player returning to good form.”

@TheWestHamYank says ‘Our most improved player since last season”

Benrahma @Ethan34790376 says “Always been a fan of cress. He’s been reborn this season”

Lets hope Creswell continues to flourish in his role and we carry on with our good form throughout this New Year.

Be safe everyone.

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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