Two years ago this month, the newly appointed England manager Sam Allardyce signed Aaron Cresswell from Championship side Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee.
Two years on and despite their paths taking them in differing directions, Allardyce and Cresswell were potentially set to work together once more.
Following England’s miserable summer in France, Allardyce has been elected the man to change the fortunes of the Three Lions. During his unveiling at St.George’s Park on Monday he stressed how man-management and getting the best out of his players were his biggest assets.
A statement Cresswell would wholeheartedly agree on.
During their one season together Allardyce transformed Cresswell from a Championship full-back into an elite Premier League defender, scooping up the Hammer of the Year award in the process in his inaugural season in the top flight.
Dreaming of the days of defenders such as Sebastian Schemmel and Herita Ilunga, West Ham had a new marauding full-back to worship.
Big Sam then left the club in the more than capable hands of Slaven Bilic who witnessed another stellar campaign from the almost ever-present Cresswell.
6735 – Aaron Cresswell has played more minutes than any other PL player over the last two seasons (6735). Loss. pic.twitter.com/YQRmIXG5zw
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 25, 2016
And despite England boasting strength in depth in the left back position, it was widely seen as an oversight by Roy Hodgson to omit Cresswell from his provisional Euro 2016 squad. Along with Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll.
With another string of impressive performances in pre-season, Cresswell was all set for another strong campaign, this time in the Olympic Stadium and in the Europa League.
But football is never that simple and a horrific tackle from a Karlshruer player, who will now forever be known as the player that injured Aaron Cresswell by West Ham United fans, has sidelined the 26-year-old for at least the next three to four months.
It is a cruel blow and extremely damaging for potentially both Bilic and Allardyce’s plans this season.
Gold and Sullivan will now step up their search for a replacement left-back but all Hammers fans know, there is only one Aaron Cresswell.