West Ham United must push through with plans to sign Brentford ace Said Benrahma before the end of the EFL transfer market, despite Danny Murphy questioning the proposed deal.
According to the Mirror, Irons chiefs believe that a deal to lure Benrahma to the London Stadium can still be secured even though they have been met with some unexpected hurdles in an emerging stand-off between the forward and his current side Brentford.
West Ham had agreed to pay the Bees a total £25million in a deal featuring an upfront £17m and planned to host Benrahma for a medical following his return from international duty, which The Guardian propose was scheduled for Wednesday.
The Guardian also suggest West Ham would be paying Brentford an upfront £25m with a further £5m on the cards through potential add-ons, but must see how things play out with his current Championship side or will turn attentions to signing AFC Bournemouth’s Joshua King.
News first dropped on Monday that Benrahma’s proposed transfer was at risk of collapsing through ‘broken promises’, after the Algerian spoke with Bees Co-Director of Football Phil Giles over the weekend to make clear that his intentions are to quit the Championship side.
Yet former England international Murphy is not sure why West Ham are courting the idea of signing Benrahma at all, as the Irons ought to be focusing efforts on the backline as manager David Moyes already has a wealth of offensive weapons.
“He’s a super talent and I’m sure he will add quality to the squad and competition for places,” Murphy told talkSPORT. “But with [Jarrod] Bowen, [Andriy] Yarmolenko, [Pablo] Fornals, [Manuel] Lanzini, [Michail] Antonio and [Sebastien] Haller, to be using the best part of £30m on a player who you wouldn’t say is a priority…
“When West Ham are talking about needing defensive back-ups and then they want to plough that dough in a forward player when they’ve got lots … then it seems strange they are ploughing that much dough into this lad.”
While Murphy is right in that Moyes has targeted defensive options this summer, his justification for walking away from signing Benrahma is misplaced now that West Ham have finalised a loan deal with Watford for Craig Dawson.
Benrahma is also incomparable to the Irons’ current crop of forward options, particularly Antonio and Haller who are better served to playing central striking roles rather than on the wing where the Algerian would be contending for minutes.
The 25-year-old – who reports suggest is chasing a base £60,000-per-week, five-year contract should he leave Brentford – recorded 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions last season, while Robert Snodgrass and Yarmolenko topped the scoring charts among all wingers at the London Stadium with five each and Snodgrass, Fornals and Felipe Anderson were the top creators with five assists each.
Anderson has since departed for FC Porto on loan, while Snodgrass is yet to be named in a Premier League squad and Yarmolenko has played just 30 minutes in the top-flight, showing why Moyes is right to target talented offensive weapons in the final week of the EFL window.