Few players have benefitted more from the presence of David Moyes at West Ham United than Arthur Masuaku.
Prior to the Scot’s arrival in November 2017, Masuaku had lost his place in the team and was rumoured to be on his way out of London Stadium.
Masuaku himself denied the reports, stating on social media that he was ‘only focused on helping my team achieve its goals’.
Under Moyes’ influence, he did just that, starting regularly as the Scot led the Hammers on a run of one defeat in ten Premier League matches, lifting them out of the relegation zone and into the relative comfort of mid-table by the end of January 2018.
That dramatic improvement was based on a number of factors, including a switch to a 3-5-2 formation that got the best out of Masuaku.
Playing in more-advanced left wing-back position, the No26 thrived, using his pace, strength and technical ability to provide width and penetration down that side of the pitch.
By the season’s end, Masuaku had started 21 Premier League matches and ended on the losing side in just six of them.
Statistically, according to the respected performance analysis website WhoScored.com, only leading scorer Marko Arnautovic and Argentinian playmaker Manuel Lanzini – both of whom also responded superbly to Moyes’ methods and demands – enjoyed more productive 2017/18 campaigns than the Lille-born player.
If I speak for myself, the manager knows me because he was here before, so he knows what I’m capable of and he wants me to use my quality
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the DR Congo international welcomed the former Everton and Manchester United manager’s return to east London at the end of December.
Moyes’ first game in charge saw West Ham thrash AFC Bournemouth 4-0 to climb out of the bottom three, with Masuaku impressing during an eye-catching substitute appearance in central midfield.
His second saw the 26-year-old revert to his old position wide on the left for the hard-fought 2-0 Emirates FA Cup third-round win at EFL League One side Gillingham.
And while his third saw the Hammers controversially and unfortunately beaten 1-0 at Sheffield United last time out, Masuaku insists the Glaswegian is definitely the right person to set West Ham on the right track as they seek to climb the Premier League table.
“He is just positive,” the softly-spoken wing-back confirmed. “Really, he is a positive guy and when you play for a manager like this, it’s really good because you want to give everything for him, for the team and for the fans.
“I like him as a person, he is a very good manager, he is honest and he tells the truth and when you’re a player, that’s always nice. I was disappointed when he left in 2018 because he liked the way I was playing. I was quite sad when he left, to be honest.
“If I speak for myself, the manager knows me because he was here before, so he knows what I’m capable of and he wants me to use my quality. He wants me to go forward because he knows I like going forward and I like this so, for me, it’s very good.
“I think he’s the manager we needed. He has been here before, so he knows the Club and he knows a lot of us. Hopefully we can keep going like we did in the last home game against Bournemouth.”
Masuaku dons the cover of issue 12 of West Ham United's 116-page Official Programme – Hammer – for the 2019/20 season.
The eye-catching publication sees the Club make a move away from the traditional format to produce a football magazine that will maintain supporters’ interest long after the final whistle.
With cutting-edge design, exclusive interviews, attention-grabbing opinions and eye-catching photographs, plus the regular news, columns and statistics and insightful content from across all areas of the Club, Hammer is the definitive Claret and Blue publication for West Ham fans.
Priced at just £3.50, Hammer is also the best-value matchday magazine anywhere in the Premier League and will be available in and around London Stadium on Saturday!