He came in as a squad player, nobody thought we were signing Cafu. Only 4 players have started more games, only 2 have more assists, only Gueye has averaged more passes and tackles per game, only Keane averages more interceptions per game. That is above expectations and at the same time a bit depressing.
He's rarely been wanting for effort when others around him have been. I'd rather have Cuco as a squad player than some of the other players we paid £20m+ with intention of going into first team.
I'd expect a first team left back signing to happen in summer, and I'd be hoping we develop a youth player to challenge him. At the moment we have neither and Baines isn't getting any younger or more energetic. Cuco is an experienced player with his best few years ahead of him, can fill in on both sides and could probably make a better go at centre back if things went tits up.
I don't think long term you'd want him to be here, but there's quite a few you'd replace or move on before him and he represents continuity more than most. In terms of fee, wages, value for money, he's been one of the better bits of business.