Cresswell makes England debut


Aaron Cresswell

West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell became the Club’s 40th senior England international by making his debut in Wednesday’s friendly with Spain at Wembley.

The left-back capped a sensational opening two-and-a-quarter seasons in Claret and Blue by being introduced as a 79th-minute substitute for Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose – who he could face at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

The 26-year-old has been a rock of consistency since joining West Ham from Championship club Ipswich Town in summer 2014, winning the Hammer of the Year award in his first season in east London.

Aside from a knee injury caused by a late tackle in July this year that ruled him out for three months, Cresswell has hardly missed a minute for the Hammers, making 93 appearances and scoring four spectacular goals for the Club.

On Wednesday, he completed a remarkable rise from being released by Liverpool at the age of 15, through being given a second chance by lower-league Tranmere Rovers, to winning Ipswich and West Ham’s Player of the Year awards, to full England international.

Cresswell became the 40th West Ham player to feature in an England shirt, 105 years after centre forward George Webb scored on his debut in a 3-0 win over Wales at The Den in March 2011.

Three West Ham players, of course, lifted the FIFA World Cup in 1966 – hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst, goalscorer Martin Peters and the Hammers’ most-capped player Bobby Moore, who appeared 108 times for the Three Lions.

Cresswell also became the first West Ham player to represent England since Stewart Downing, who appeared against Scotland in Glasgow in November 2014.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Dimitri Payet earned cap No32 for France in Les Bleus' goalless friendly draw with Ivory Coast in Lens, while Everton loanee striker Enner Valencia scored for the 19th time in 34 appearances for Ecuador in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup CONMEBOL Group Stage qualifying win over Venezuela.

Finally, Simone Zaza appeared as a late substitute in Italy's goalless friendly draw with Germany in Milan, earning his 16th cap for the Azzurri.