David Moyes appears to have softened his stance towards Said Benrahma easing fears over the Algerian’s future.
It is fair to say Moyes has not made life easy for Benrahma since he joined West Ham on loan in October.
Having had to wait a long time to secure a starting spot, Benrahma has been visibly annoyed at being substituted in some games.
Benrahma has not been at his outstanding best for West Ham yet, by any means.
But he has been disciplined and put in the hard yards for the team to prove to Moyes he has what it takes to nail down a regular starting spot.
Moyes took hardline stance with Benrahma sparking fan fears over permanent deal
West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh – and others – repeatedly claimed Josh King was in fact Moyes’s preferred target while the owners wanted Benrahma in the summer window.
The Scot denied such speculation, insisting HE chose the Algerian (Sky Sports).
But Moyes also then admitted Eberechi Eze was actually his first choice (Football London).
It came after the West Ham boss publicly told Benrahma he must work on his ball retention and decision-making to keep his place in the team (whufc.com).
One of the results of the attacker’s confusing deal – where West Ham have an obligation to sign him pending a successful second medical – coupled with Moyes’s hardline stance towards the playmaker, is that it has given rise to speculation over his future.
The situation was preying on the fears of cynical West Ham fans.
Playmaker appears to have passed his West Ham initiation as Moyes softens stance amid reports of early deal conversion
Many of them felt the deal with Brentford may not be allowed to materialise. Either by West Ham somehow worming out of the agreement or even the player himself resisting a permanent move.
There were also fears that promotion to the Premier League for Brentford could potentially throw a spanner in the works too.
But speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Crystal Palace, when Benrahma is expected to start again, Moyes has softened his stance towards the star.
It comes at the same time reports from the likes of The Guardian claim the Hammers will look to put fears over his future to bed by making Benrahma’s signing permanent this month – six months earlier than planned – in order to make way for a possible loan deal for Jesse Lingard.
Benrahma’s deal being made permanent – as also being reported by football journalist Duncan Castles – comes after a more complimentary tone from Moyes, suggesting the player has passed his initiation.
‘I think Said’s doing well, he’s come on nicely’
“The biggest thing I’m working on with Said Benrahma is getting him used to the Premier League,” Moyes told the press (whufc.com).
“I don’t think we need to work on any one specific thing. You always bring people in and people expect so much, so quickly.
“Quite often, with the boys I’ve brought in from the Championship, I’ve never started them quickly, I’ve always taken my time and tried to bring them on at the right speed.
“Everybody wants things done much, much quicker these days.
“I think Said’s doing well. He’s come on nicely. There are parts of his game I want him to improve on, but it’s a big jump up from the Championship to the Premier League and it doesn’t always happen overnight for everybody.”
Benrahma will never have been asked to work as hard as he has to for West Ham, even for his national side.
But West Ham fans have seen enough to suggest – particularly in the second half of the season with West Ham not in the relegation picture and the shackles off – that he can be a sensational signing.