The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas has hailed West Ham winger Said Benrahma after his performance in the Irons’ 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Lowdown: Benrahma’s new-found form
As of 22 February, the Algerian was the Premier League’s most-substituted player, having been brought off 17 times – thrice more than second-placed Emiliano Buendia.
In the context of the Hammers, Jarrod Bowen ranked second in the list. However, he had been subbed on seven fewer occasions than the Algeria international. This led to visible frustration for Benrahma, who made it very clear how he felt over David Moyes’ decisions.
However, more recently, the 26-year-old has been on the receiving end of much praise, particularly highlighted in the wake of his man-of-the-match performance against Aston Villa, which earned him a 7.6 SofaScore rating.
The Latest: Thomas praise for Benrahma
Having previously felt sorry for the 26-year-old, Roshane Thomas was full of praise for Benrahma following his electric performance on Sunday.
Taking to Twitter, the journalist gushed: “Two assists from Benrahma”, adding three fire emojis to illustrate how impressed he was with the Algerian’s display.
Thomas later tweeted: “Diop replaces Benrahma who receives a pat on the back from Paul Nevin and Kevin Nolan. That will give Benny lots of confidence.”
The Verdict: Benrahma could be crucial
With Michail Antonio a doubt for West Ham’s Europa League clash against Sevilla on Thursday, Benrahma could be relied upon to play further up the pitch in a more direct role, something he has done on occasion in 2021/22.
Looking to the remainder of the season, the Algerian could prove vital in Moyes’ pursuit of Champions League football, with the Scotsman seriously lacking in centre-forward depth.
Antonio has failed to score in his last nine league games, which may be down to a contribution of poor finishing and a lack of chances being created for him. Therefore, Benrahma’s ability to dazzle defenders – highlighted by his former Brentford coach Sam Saunders’ assertion that “he could nutmeg a mermaid” – could reignite West Ham’s attacking threat.
Thus, with a newfound confidence under his belt, the 26-year-old could prove to be crucial in West Ham’ push for another European finish. It’s good to see him back to his confident, productive best as the stakes gets ever-higher at this point of the campaign.
In other news: Moyes drops double injury claim ahead of Sevilla clash
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