Ryan Fredericks started just 12 Premier League matches last season, coming on as a substitute three times, as per WhoScored.
He has already made a third of the starts he did last campaign, having played the full 90 minutes in each of the Hammers’ opening four games.
This comes after he usurped Pablo Zabaleta, who started 23 times and was brought off the bench on three occasions in the Premier League last season, but has only featured in the Carabao Cup so far this campaign.
This is without a doubt a step up for Fredericks, so it is interesting to see how he is adapting to a role of greater prominence, looking at his statistics from the two campaigns.
Defensively, he makes 0.3 more tackles than he did last season, as well as 0.1 extra interceptions and 0.5 more blocks.
However, he now averages 1.2 more fouls, 1.3 fewer clearances and is dribbled past on 0.8 more occasions each game.
This indicates that the 26-year-old is doing worse than last season, with the number of fouls he is making a particular area of concern.
In an attacking sense, he hasn’t done as much as last season, making no dribbles compared to 0.8 per game last season, while he hasn’t made any crosses yet, having averaged 0.3 last season.
However, he is more measured and effective in what he has done, making 0.3 more key passes and being fouled 0.3 times more often, while he hasn’t been dispossessed once and has a pass success rate which is 3.7% higher.
This indicates that he is now perhaps a more useful player in an attacking sense than he was during the last season – though he did score once during the 2018/19 campaign, which he hasn’t managed yet.
Overall, he needs to work on the defensive side of his game further, specifically in one-on-one situations, as he even made three fouls and was dribbled past twice in the 2-0 win against Norwich City.
However, there are still positive signs that he can progress to be an improved right-back and greater asset for the Hammers, due to his improved efficiency going forward.