David Moyes is expected to follow Frank McAvennie’s advice after backing Said Benrahma as a surprise response to West Ham United’s Declan Rice woes.
The Hammers confirmed earlier this week that Rice suffered a lateral knee ligament injury while representing England in the March international break.
He now faces a long period on the sidelines, which, according to reports, could last up to four to six weeks, provided surgery is not required.
Can Benrahma answer West Ham’s rice problems?
Yes it has the potential to
No he’s not that kind of player
Rice facing knee surgery could see the 22-year-old sent off for the remainder of the season, putting his place in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for this summer’s European Championships in jeopardy.
Moyes chose to recall Mark Noble against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night for the Irons’ Premier League captain’s fifth start to the season, but McAvennie fears his former side will have to rely on the 33-year-old in the long run.
“Playing Noble for six weeks might set us back, without disrespecting him, but he just doesn’t have the energy or the legs that younger ones have,” McAvennie exclusively told FootballFanCast.
“David has to find energy in the middle. If Rice is caught off guard and [Tomas] Soucek is next to him, they both have the energy to come back, but Noble can’t.
“But if [Ben] Johnson or whoever he wants to put on – Benrahma, and maybe have to play it a little deeper, but he still has the energy to go up and down. [Jesse] Lingard, I don’t think he’ll bring it that far back.
“It’s weird and it’s going to be a puzzle for David Moyes.”
Monday’s 3-2 win over Wolves was the first Premier League game Rice has served on since May 2019, with the £ 60,000-a-week star opening West Ham’s previous 68 consecutive games.
Noble did quite well in the midfielder role alongside Soucek keeping it simple, with his leadership being the key factor in his performance having offered a calm header as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side threatened a comeback. of three goals.
But the Molineux side have struggled to achieve consistent form throughout the season and now sit 14th in the table, while Sunday’s clash with Leicester City’s top four rivals is expected to result in West Ham a much more difficult test in the fight for qualification in the Champions League.
Moyes could seek to weather the inevitable storm by adhering to McAvennie’s advice and unleashing Benrahma in the engine room alongside Soucek and Noble although the Algerian has never played more deeply than a midfielder role. offensive throughout his career.
The Hammers boss has already praised Benrahma – who fell on the bench at Molineux and has not started consecutive Premier League games since February 6 – for his defensive pace of work, as his contributions had surprised Moyes.
“I laughed a bit with him [Benrahma] because I tell him, “ I had no idea that I had hired a very hardworking midfielder who runs and steadfast, and does all the defensive tasks, ” Moyes said, via quotes from The Guardian, in February .
“I said, ‘I thought we had someone for assists and goal scoring.’ These are the elements that I think he probably needs to improve. The other part was excellent. I want team players here – I don’t want individuals – but Said has been great for the team.
Moyes can now look to unleash Benrahma’s defensive abilities to their fullest potential by fielding the 25-year-old in a deeper role at home at Leicester on Sunday, and see if he can be the answer to West Ham’s Rice headache .
AND in other news, West Ham wins a major boost in the race to sign a ‘full’ goal of £ 11million for free …