David Moyes has backed Said Benrahma to step up for West Ham and show the form that persuaded the club to sign him from Brentford.
Benrahma joined West Ham in October 2020 missing pre-season with the Hammers and the first four matches of the Premier League campaign.
The summer, bar a slightly late return to training due to international duty with Algeria, Benrahma has had a full summer with West Ham and has shown some fine form during the pre-season friendlies.
Moyes has been clear to point out that you cannot read too much into pre-season form but admitted that “pre-season friendlies don’t mean anything,” before adding “but put it this way I would rather be winning games than losing them.”
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The manager believes that following a season in the top flight Benrahma is more prepared for the challenges ahead than he was this time last year: “I think he is certainly more ready than he was last year,” he said.
“I think he came in with not really a true understanding of the Premier League in some of the things he was attempting to do in the games.
“His final ball had to be better, well already in pre-season he has got himself some goals and you can see a greater deal of confidence.
“At the moment he releases the ball we’re looking for more consistency. All the other parts of his game we’re happy with, his effort, commitment and attitude have been great but generally now he just needs to step up to what we want and add all those parts to his game.”
Moyes did not confirm that Benrahma would slot into the team as a direct replacement for the now departed Jesse Lingard but did agree that the England internationals absence provided an opportunity for someone to step up and take.
“There’s always been a big chance,” Moyes said. “We can’t just have 11 players we’re going to need competition and need players who can come in and make a difference.
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“From that point of view I’m going to need more players. If Said can get into the team and do anything as well as Jesse did then that would be great.”
Moyes looked at Benrahma’s form with Brentford and is keen for the attacking-midfielder to replicate those performances in the claret and blue.
“I think Said in his own right had really good numbers at Brentford,” Moyes said. “So I am hoping he can show a bit of that for us this season.”