AFCON Hammers headache


Hammers attackers Mohammed Kudus and Saïd Benrahma have both been included in their country’s squads for The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers being played this week. However the knock on effect of the impending February exodus has given West Ham a selection headache.

Assuming Benrahma is David Moyes first choice left winger, it’s only natural to look for his replacement in the team. Kudus would be considered a possibility, given his flexibility. However he will also be heading off to participate during the first week in January.

Maxwell Cornet was purchased last season to play as a left winger, and cover Benrahma. But with the Ivory Coast hosting the tournament, it’s safe to assume he’ll be called up too.

AFCON Hammers headache. Benrahma will lead the January exodus

This leaves West Ham with a gaping hole on the left flank to fill for a month.

Pablo Fornals is a always keen to deputise, but he’s no winger. Occasionally as cover or a substitute, he can do a job. But a whole month of Fornals on the left wing is unlikely to work.

Kudus is in the Ghana squad for the Group E qualifier against Central African Republic, while Benrahma is in the Algeria squad for a Group F match with Tanzania this week.

Left wing headache

It is now clear why West Ham were so keen to recruit a left winger during the transfer window. A lack of pace down the left hand side has been a weak point for the team during the past three years.

Jesse Lingard is expected to sign a short contract with the Hammers, but he’s far from a winger. Maybe Moyes will use the paucity of options to promote somebody from the youth side?

January could well be a very testing month. If West Ham are going to move in the transfer window, it will have to be very early indeed.

Share this article

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • lokfaen says:

    Both Fornals and Paqueta can deputize, but not their best position. Perhaps move up Emerson infront og Cress or Johnson? Maybe give Mubama a shot at left wing?

  • keith astley says:

    We only have 2 pl games in January, away to Sheff utd on the 13th and home to Bournemouth on the 30th. So, although not ideal not a great problem either. All 3 might only miss 1 game.

    • keith astley says:

      Forget that comment. I didn’t realise that ACoN runs until mid Feb so should any of our players reach the final they would miss 4 PL games

Comments are closed.