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Should retaining Arthur Masuaku be a priority for West Ham?

Frenchman established himself as first choice left back this season

Stoke City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Here comes the silly season.

It’s not even halfway through May, and already the stories are starting to appear, linking West Ham United stars with big money moves elsewhere, and random players from outside the “Big 5” Leagues are suddenly linked with big money moves to the East London club.

Now comes a story linking Arthur Masuaku with a big money move to AS Roma. Masuaku was linked the Serie A club in 2015, along with Inter Milan and Genoa, before his move to West Ham last summer, so it is not surprising that Masuaku would be a name that would come up as possibly moving on. Aaron Cresswell was the established first-choice left-back going into the season and Masuaku started the season in the team while Cresswell was recovering from injury. Masuaku got the chance to get a run in the first team after Cresswell went down injured in April.

And what a run he has had. Masuaku has exceeded expectations since coming on for Cresswell, and has legitimately established himself as the first choice left-back. Masuaku was widely considered one of the best players for the Hammers during the month of April, and was a man-of-the-match candidate against Everton. In fact, the only reason Cresswell got back into the team against Spurs is because Masuaku picked up a knock against Stoke City the previous week.

So if the rumored interest in Masuaku is real, should the Hammers try to hang on to him or see if they can “flip” him for a profit? Cresswell has been poor for much of the season, despite his fine showing against Spurs, and would likely be considered one of the biggest disappointments of the season if their weren’t so many candidates. Masuaku is young and appears to have adjusted to the rigors of the Premier League. Keeping young, developing stars, is absolutely the kind of business that West Ham should be in, not flipping for a profit of a few million pounds. The team has a number of young players that could lead the team to glory in a few years, and the team should resist the urge to cash-in on young talent while searching the bargain bin for fullbacks on free transfers.