David Moyes will throw Said Benrahma under the bus if the West Ham United boss plans to use the Brentford loanee as a striker against Leeds on Friday night.
Benrahma is yet to start a Premier League fixture since moving to the London Stadium on a season-long deal, with Moyes firm in his stance that the Algerian must wait for his opportunity as Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen continue to excel on the wings.
Fornals offered a tame showing in West Ham’s last top-flight outing as he struggled to make his chances count before Manchester United came from behind to win, yet it is not the £67,308-per-week playmaker who could miss out on facing Leeds but rather Sebastien Haller.
According to Claret & Hugh, Moyes will be without Michail Antonio at Elland Road as the striker is continuing to train alone before featuring for the Under 23s as he bids to make his comeback from a second hamstring injury.
The blow allowed Haller to move back into the starting line-up against Manchester United, but a goalless display from the Ivory Coast international has raised the potential for Benrahma to lead the line against Marcelo Bielsa’s Championship title-holders.
Moyes would be throwing Benrahma under the bus if he were to award the Brentford loanee his maiden West Ham start at striker, as the “outstanding” forward Lee Hendrie is confident has top-flight ability has only played in a centre-forward role seven times throughout his senior career.
Only four times has Benrahma opened the action as a striker, too, which returned his only two goals in the position – each coming in a Ligue 2 fixture against Stade Brest back in May 2018 whilst with LB Chateauroux.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank only saw fit to hand his star forward central duties twice, as well, with one of which coming against Leeds for the final 11 minutes as he chased a late goal to avoid defeat at Elland Road.
The strike did not come and Benrahma returned to the left-wing, where he would pen each of his 17 goals and 10 assists during the 2019/20 season on route to defeat in the Play-Off Final with Fulham.
Speculation of Moyes considering Benrahma as a central option is not too far-fetched with the Scot initially favouring AFC Bournemouth’s Joshua King this summer, a player who was keen to play as a No. 9 as opposed to on the flank.
But using Benrahma in the manner King would have occupied would be an absurd plan to make use of the 25-year-old his side brought in on a £5million loan deal that features a £20m obligation to buy and a further £5m possible in add-ons, meaning it could rise to £30m.