West Ham United manager David Moyes faces something of a selection headache ahead of his team’s Premier League curtain-raiser on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers host reigning champions Manchester City at the London Stadium and the Scottish manager will be hoping to cause an upset against the title holders.
After what can only be described as a successful 2021/22 season, Moyes has a tough task on his hands replicating a Europa League semi-final and a seventh-placed finish.
His summer additions have certainly bolstered his squad, with the arrival of Gianluca Scamacca answering the prayers of those who had begged for some much-needed competition for Michail Antonio at centre-forward.
However, one man who must be unleashed on Sunday is £30m signing Said Benrahma, who offered glimpses of his talents throughout the most recent campaign.
Making the step up from the Championship for such a large fee may have provided something of a burden for the player, but entering his third season at the London Stadium off the back of scoring eight Premier League goals last term suggests that he could be a crucial presence for the Irons in 2022/23.
Moyes is inundated with tricky attacking talent, with Pablo Fornals, Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini all vying for starting berths
With more league goals than Lanzini (five) and Fornals (six) in 2021/22, the Algerian has certainly earned an opportunity to cement his place in Moyes’ side.
Capable of operating on either flank, he offers an unpredictability and a silkiness on the ball which marks him out from his team-mates. Averaging 6.21 progressive carries combined with 3.07 shot-creating actions per 90 last season outlines him as a constant threat for opposition full-backs.
Should Said Benrahma start for West Ham?
Labelled an “outstanding player” by Nathan Judah, the £58k-per-week winger can finally start to establish himself as a high-quality Premier League player after two years at this level and a steady increase on his one goal in his debut top-flight season.
Having recently secured the signing of Maxwel Cornet, although the Ivorian is unlikely to have been registered in time, Benrahma also needs a stage to prove why he should be guaranteed one of the wide attacking berths in West Ham’s strongest XI along with Bowen, who seems a certain starter after he top-scored for the club in 2021/22.
The 26-year-old simply must be unleashed on Sunday to offer a silkiness which could dumbfound City’s defence and give the Hammers a chance of hitting them on the counter and snatching a result in this fixture for the second time in four months.
As West Ham’s third-highest scorer from last season, Benrahma can certainly be a game-changer for Moyes.