West Ham United are set to make one final signing during the domestic extension of the Premier League transfer window, as the Hammers have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Brentford winger Said Benrahma.
The 25-year-old Algerian international joined Brentford from Nice in the summer of 2018 and promptly went on to dazzle and delight Bees fans to the tune of 27 goals and 23 assists in two seasons. Benrahma was frequently linked with a handful of PL sides this summer, though a deal proved difficult for any number of reasons.
According to Sky Sports, West Ham will pay Brentford a transfer fee in the region of $40 million, which will break the Bees’ club record for the second time in as many months.
Said Benrahma scouting report
Benrahma was almost exclusively deployed as a right winger cutting and tucking inside while at Brentford. Season no. 1 saw him assist more goals (14) than he scored (10), following by a flipping of the script in season no. 2 (17 and 9) following the departure of star striker Neal Maupay.
The first thing West Ham fans will notice upon watching Said Benrahma is his spectacular dribbling (watch one of many examples, here) and ability to progress the ball on his own. He’s more of a volume shooter from distance (the edge of the box and beyond) than a clinical finisher in and around the penalty area, but he’s scored plenty to justify the audacious efforts.
Given the way Brentford play as a team and used Benrahma individually, most of his assists came via through balls rather than open-play crosses into the box. He also took most set pieces for Brentford, scoring and assisting a handful of goals that way as well.
He’s quick in and out of tight spaces, but hardly an open-field burner. He’s not overly powerful or physical, but he’s tough to knock off the ball. If nothing else, West Ham fans will enjoy the YouTube compilations (of which there are already many) whether or not they result in a scoring chance or a goal.
Buying from Brentford
Just last month, Brentford sold star striker Ollie Watkins, for whom they paid just $2.3 million in the summer of 2017, to Aston Villa for $36 million. Before the 2019-20 season, Brentford sold Maupay, for whom they paid just $2.1 million that same summer, to Brighton & Hove Albion for $26 million.
While it’s still early days for Watkins in the PL — his first-half hat trick against Liverpool could be an indicator of good things to come — Maupay has established himself as a PL-caliber striker with 10 goals in his first PL season and four in four games to start the current campaign.
Brentford not only have a strong, and growing, reputation for doing fantastic transfer business, but also for their thorough scouting and talent identification program. It’s one thing to sell fool’s gold to unsuspecting buyers, but it’s another thing entirely to showcase talent of this quality and to see them continue their successes even after making the massive leap from the EFL Championship to the Premier League.