West Ham United are back in action at home to Bournemouth this evening, with David Moyes’ side looking to pick their first Premier League win since defeating another newly-promoted outfit in the form of Fulham just over two weeks ago.
The Hammers have since been held away to Southampton and been narrowly defeated by Liverpool at Anfield, ensuring that the east Londoners are now 12 points worse off than they were at the same stage last season, following an underwhelming start to the current campaign.
The most recent outing against the Reds saw Jarrod Bowen’s penalty miss ultimately prove costly as the visitors were unable to draw themselves level following Darwin Nunez’s opener, with Tomas Soucek also being denied late on by James Milner.
Amid that potential frustration for Moyes and co, one notable bright spark was that of substitute Said Benrahma, with the fleet-footed winger having produced a “promising cameo” after entering the fray around the hour mark, in the words of The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas.
The former Brentford man notably boasted a 100% pass accuracy rate off the bench against Jurgen Klopp’s side, while also coming close to drawing his side level after firing his effort straight at opposition stopper Alisson at the back post.
While that missed chance has perhaps epitomised the forward’s season thus far – having scored just twice in all competitions – the £22.5m-rated ace may simply be in need of a more consistent run in the side, having been routinely restricted to substitute appearances of late.
The electric gem has only started three Premier League games so far this season – with his only 90-minute outing coming against Nottingham Forest back in early August – with that fact somewhat explaining his inability to find his form so far this term.
Moyes has only recently suggested that the club do “trust” the Algerian international to make an impact, although it remains to be seen if that faith will lead to further chances for the winger moving forward, particularly with playmaker Lucas Paqueta currently sidelined.
In need of a magic touch to replace the Brazilian, Benrahma could well be that figure, having showcased his quality last term after netting eight times in the top flight alone.
On the basis of that undoubted talent – as well as his bright showing in midweek – the 27-year-old simply “deserves to start” tonight, as per the aforementioned Thomas.