Not long ago it would have seemed preposterous to suggest that Said Benrahma was about to enter a make or break period. The Algerian was a hero of West Ham’s Conference League win in Prague, where he dispatched the Hammers first goal from the penalty spot.
As much as anyone, Benrahma could have expected to enter this current campaign full of hope and expectancy. The winger finally appeared to have gained David Moyes trust, and had become the first choice left winger.
Unfortunately for Benni, the season has not started as he would have expected. Some average form at the beginning of the Premier League coincided with a late transfer window recruitment drive. Benrahma has found himself shunted from the starting line-up which is ironic considering West Ham didn’t sign a replacement.
Benrahma has found himself ousted from his favoured position, due to the excellent Lucas Paqueta. The Brazilian himself has been shunted out to the wing recently and to put it bluntly . . . he’s been better than Benrahma.
As a result, the next four games will be crucial for West Ham’s £24m man. Moyes’s robust three man midfield might be the chosen option against Man City and Liverpool. But Benni will be hoping the manager finds space for a bit more creativity against Lincoln City.
Borrowed time for Benrahma
For that reason, I expect Moyes to play Benrahma from the start in tomorrow’s League Cup clash. However, the player will have to impress if given the chance. His form has been patchy at best, and with the exception of the Brighton game, his end product has been lacking.
With Mohammed Kudus also pushing for a creative berth in the team. If Benrahma hasn’t forced his way into the team when Newcastle visit in October, he may find it hard to come back.
The African Cup of Nations begins in January, so if the winger can’t get regular football before that tournament, it’s hard to imagine him getting much afterwards.