A controversial sale of Said Benrahma makes perfect sense for West Ham but only on one very important condition.
Benrahma has divided opinion since signing for West Ham.
The Algerian playmaker has always had suggestions hanging over him that he was never David Moyes’s signing in the first place.
Those who remember the window in which West Ham signed Benrahma may recall the Hammers were also being heavily linked with forward Josh King.
And there are reports that Moyes wanted King but could not do a deal and so ended up being given Benrahma by the club’s owners.
It is a story Moyes – perhaps somewhat predictably – denies, insisting in an interview with Sky Sports last year that Benrahma was his signing.
But even those who Hammers supporters who perhaps aren’t Benrahma’s biggest fans were taken aback by claims that he could be sold this summer.
Benrahma has 12 goals and 12 assists for West Ham in 44 starts – a goal involvement of better than one every two games.
With Moyes facing a big rebuild this summer and at least six or seven quality additions needed, the last thing fans envisaged was having to replace someone like Benrahma too.
A West Ham insider told Claret and Hugh that Benrahma looks likely to be sold as Moyes reshapes his squad.
The Guardian have also reported that West Ham are open to offers for Benrahma with former club Brentford and the likes of Fulham said to be interested.
There was a flashpoint last season when Benrahma and Moyes clashed on the sideline after the Scot subbed the playmaker against Newcastle. Benrahma could be seen telling Moyes “Every time me”.
The speculation has not gone down well with some West Ham fans who feel Moyes should be building on talented players like Benrahma rather than selling them.
But the controversial Benrahma sale makes perfect sense for West Ham on one very important condition.
If – and only if – the Hammers sign Moyes target Keane Lewis-Potter as his replacement.
West Ham have been heavily linked with a move for Lewis-Potter (Hull Daily Mail).
West Ham’s interest in Lewis-Potter is very real. So real in fact that Hull’s eccentric owner, Acun Ilicali, held an impromptu press conference to address the West Ham transfer rumour over his star player.
Moyes is a massive fan of the Hull ace, who plays in the same position as Benrahma and shares many similar traits.
It is no wonder Moyes wants Lewis-Potter given the success of the last attacker he signed from Hull – Jarrod Bowen.
Whether selling Benrahma is the right call or not, if Moyes replaces him with a top young talent like Lewis-Potter – a player he wants – then it makes perfect sense for West Ham.
Teams have to evolve and the manager must have the final say.
England Under 21 international Lewis-Potter has 28 goals and nine assists in 81 starts for Hull and is still only 21.
In an ideal world West Ham would keep Benrahma AND sign Lewis-Potter – but Moyes would have a job to keep both happy and team harmony and spirit has been key to West Ham’s success under him.
A Benrahma sale makes perfect sense for West Ham on the condition Lewis-Potter replaces him.
If that is not going to be the case then Moyes needs to think long and hard whether it is the right thing to do.