Fresh from leading West Ham United into an unlikely spot in the Europa League, a year on from staring relegation in the face, manager David Moyes has a tricky task on his hands to repeat such a feat.
The 58-year-old has often been a mark of consistency in the Premier League, regularly recording top-eight finishes during his time at Everton, but this season looks tougher than ever.
A lot of teams around them, including the likes of Spurs and Arsenal who finished lower in the table, have strengthened their playing squad considerably, whilst the Irons have only made the one senior addition, a back-up loan goalkeeper in Alphonse Areola.
The likes of Declan Rice, Michail Antonio, Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek will need to step up and perform at a similar output to last term, especially in the absence of Jesse Lingard, who arguably changed the Hammers’ fortunes for the better.
After joining on loan in January, the Manchester United outcast provided nine goals and five assists to end the year as their second-highest rated player, as per WhoScored, which only emphasises just how crucial he was to Moyes and their impressive sixth-place finish.
The nine-cap Algerian winger, signed in a £30m deal from Brentford, didn’t have the best debut campaign in the big time, registering only one goal and six assists but that’s warranted. It’s the first time he’s competed at such a level. And he only started 14 times in the Premier League.
If Moyes needs someone to provide that extra spark in midfield, then Benrahma must step forward. He could turn out to be the Hammers’ perfect Lingard replacement.
The 26-year-old has looked electric throughout pre-season, having scored against Celtic and Brentford, and provided two assists against Atalanta. He appears to be playing with a lot more confidence and his creativity could be utilised through the middle, to get the best out of him.
At the Bees, where he was described as someone who “could nutmeg a mermaid”, he delivered a direct goal contribution every 119.5 minutes, as per Transfermarkt, so it’s on Moyes to get that back out of him.
Also dubbed a “true magician” by former OGC Nice teammate Lorenzo Vinci, Benrahma can provide Moyes and West Ham with excitement by plugging the void left behind by Lingard.
The squad undoubtedly needs more additions to put up a fight across all competitions but the £18m-rated dynamo is someone who could be in line for a massive boost heading into the new campaign.
Moyes must look to unleash Benrahma in a free role in the absence of their former loan sensation.