West Ham's forgotten man set to return next month

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Arthur Masuaku isn't expected to return to first-team action until mid-April, Claret & Hugh reports

At the dawn of the 2020/21 season, Masuaku was David Moyes' go-to option on the left side of defence and started nine of West Ham's opening ten games.

However, following the Hammers' 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in December, the defender took the decision to undergo surgery.

For an extended period of time, the Congolese full-back was struggling with an ongoing knee injury and even missed a handful of African Cup of Nations fixtures in order to prioritise his recovery. 

Ultimately, however, surgery was needed and he is now in rehabilitation. 

The West Ham full-back is expected to be available for selection next month, with the report claiming he could return against Leicester City.

However, Masuaku faces the challenge of reintegrating himself into the squad. 

GIVEMESPORT's Tom Kelly says... 

It's a difficult situation for Masuaku, who has become something of a forgotten man amid West Ham's impressive run of results in his absence. 

Since his surgery, West Ham have risen to the Champions League spots and only lost three games, which came against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. 

Masuaku now faces the tough task of trying to reclaim his position in a side doing extremely well. 

Prior to his surgery, Masuaku was an important element of West Ham's starting XI, as his directness and ability to drive forward provided a genuine threat down the left flank. During West Ham's 3-3 draw with Tottenham, for example, Masuaku recorded a whopping five dribbles.

However, in recent weeks, David Moyes has had the luxury of relying on others, while he's also switched from predominantly playing a back five to mostly utilising a back four.

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January arrival Jesse Lingard has hit the ground running with four goal contributions in five Premier League games, while the likes of Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio are in a great run of form as well. 

Although Masuaku served an important role for the Hammers at the start of the campaign, Moyes is unlikely to change the winning formula anytime soon. 

Of course, he gives Moyes a different option for the final run-in, but Masuaku will surely only be used when Plan A isn't quite working. 

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