Could West Ham get Said Benrahma back for next weekend’s game at Manchester United after Michail Antonio precedent?
That’s the question we’re pondering today with West Ham’s squad creaking amid the hectic schedule and in need of a boost.
The Hammers lost a topsy turvy game against Leeds 3-2 on Sunday to dent their top four hopes.
After the game David Moyes admitted his players were flat on their feet after a busy schedule.
A two-week break is on the horizon but the game at Man United now takes on huge significance for West Ham’s European hopes.
The Hammers have missed Benrahma after he jetted off to be with the Algeria squad for AFCON.
There are a few ‘ifs’ yet to be resolved, but could West Ham give Moyes a huge boost by getting Benrahma back for Man United after setting a precedent with Michail Antonio earlier this season?
Reigning AFCON champions Algeria lost 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea on Sunday night in the shock of the tournament so far.
Guinea are 114th in the FIFA world rankings, while Algeria are 29th, and had not lost in 35 games prior to the encounter.
Having also failed to win their opening game of the tournament against Sierra Leone, Algeria are now faced with having to beat joint tournament favourites Ivory Coast – who have ex West Ham striker Sebastien Haller up front – on Thursday to have any chance of progressing.
Could West Ham get Said Benrahma back for Man United after Michail Antonio precedent?
Anything other than a win and Algeria will be out. So the odds are overwhelmingly against Benrahma’s side.
That means, come 6pm on Thursday West Ham could – in theory at least – make plans to get Benrahma back to England.
David Sullivan set a West Ham precedent earlier this season when he chartered a private jet to get Antonio home early after the November internationals (Sky Sports).
If West Ham could do the same for Benrahma, he could be back in the UK by Friday ahead of Saturday’s game at Old Trafford. Indeed he may even be able to fly direct to Manchester to link up with his Hammers teammates there.
Yes it would all be a bit of a rush. But Benrahma – like Antonio – is a key player for West Ham. And every game – indeed every point – counts in the battle for the European spots.
Of course it all hinges on whether Algeria are eliminated.
But when West Ham made special arrangements to get Antonio back early it was an almost identical situation.
The Hammers had a game at Wolves on the Saturday and Antonio’s private jet got him back with a day to spare before the game.
It is all wishful thinking but the precedent has been set and it is not beyond the realms of possibility.
If there is a chance it could be done you can bet your bottom dollar Moyes will be pushing for the West Ham hierarchy to make it happen.