Aaron Cresswell is living, breathing proof that quality can be found in the lower leagues of this land if you know where to look. Unless you happen to be a connoisseur of all things Championship, I think it’s safe to assume not too many of us knew too much about him before he signed. But with the majority of the season gone and with an England squad to announce soon, Cresswell’s name must surely be on the collective minds of the national team hierarchy.
It’s remarkable that in his debut season at the top level Cresswell has consistently out-performed the status quo of England’s left backs. It’s not as if there’s a lack of quality in that position either. Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs and Luke Shaw are quality players in their own right. But out of the aforementioned it’s only Baines’ stats that are more impressive than our Aaron’s. But with Cresswell having five years on Baines, it seems a certainty that our young full back will usurp one or two of the underperforming contingent for the upcoming fixtures against Lithuania and Italy
It’s not a surprise in the slightest that a side with Man City’s finances, aspirations and ambitions are now being linked with Cresswell. He does possess everything you would want in a modern day full back. He’s quick, gets forward at every opportunity and his wand of a left foot has a knack for picking out strikers at posts near and far.
Indeed Aaron’s four assists thus far are quite impressive and his latest for Cheikhou Kouyate’s opener at the Lane was perfection. At 25, his best years are very much ahead of him, and the fact that he rarely misses a game is also incredibly appealing. It’s amazing to think we picked him up for next to nothing in today’s market.
His value, however, is soaring with each and every game. Is Aaron one of the best in his position in the league? I personally think so. When you think of the best left back’s in the Premier League you immediately think of Azpilicueta, Baines, Gibbs, Shaw, Clichy etc. Would we trade Aaron for any of them? I don’t think so. Perhaps the success of Aaron Cresswell will encourage more clubs to delve into the lower leagues of this country and look at domestic talent because clearly there are some gems out there waiting to be discovered.
As for Aaron’s England credentials, he’s certainly got time to develop, a tonne of potential and a bucket load of talent. In the past Roy Hodgson has certainly been guilty of over-looking individuals who don’t play for a select band of clubs and favouring those who do regardless of form. How many England caps would Tom Cleverley, for example, have if he’d been plying his trade with Stoke City over the years? But Aaron surely is about to buck this particular trend because when you’re as good as he is, you simply cannot be ignored.