Even though the transfer window closed for Europe last week, Said Benrahma is still hopeful of a move this summer.
The Brentford winger was in inspired form last season as he led the West London side to the playoff final, where they were beaten by Fulham. He was linked with a move away all summer, but as the season began he was still a member of the Bees’ squad.
He didn’t feature for the team at first, with links to the likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham, Fulham and Aston Villa continuing but when he did return to the side he reminded everyone of his quality with a stunning solo goal against Fulham in the Carabao Cup.
A move to West Ham was reportedly close after the two clubs agreed a fee of around £25million but reports on Monday claim the deal could be close to falling through over personal terms. West Ham are set to move on to Josh King now, so what is Benrahma’s next move? Better yet, what is his best move?
The Algerian is clearly too good to be playing Championship football at this point in his career. A Premier League move at this point is definitely needed, with several interested parties.
Fulham are in desperate need of a player of his quality. A natural talent with an eye for goal and a quality of pass is hard to come by and Fulham have struggled massively so far in the Premier League for any kind of attacking threat. With Aleksandar Mitrovic up front, they have a proven goalscorer but without service he is rendered completely useless. For Benrahma though, Fulham isn’t a great move. They are likely to go straight back down to the Championship because the defensive issues haven’t been sorted during the window and the manager isn’t showing any signs of ability to improve the situation. With Parker just signing a new contract too, it’s highly unlikely that he leaves mid-season and therefore more likely Fulham go straight down.
Aston Villa is another tough move for Benrahma. With captain and talisman Jack Grealish occupying that left wing role, Benrahma’s role would likely become as more of an option. With Ross Barkley also joining on loan, the likelihood of Villa boss Dean Smith changing his formation to get Jack into a No.10 role is highly unlikely. While a link up with former teammate Ollie Watkins may be appealing, if he wants to push on to the next level he needs to be playing regularly and he likely wouldn’t be doing that at Villa Park.
Crystal Palace could potentially be his best option. With Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi and Eberechi Eze making up three quarters of the front-line, Benrahma could be the perfect shout to come in and take Andros Townsend’s position in the side. Zaha is naturally a left-winger but has often found himself playing as a striker in Roy Hodgson’s 4-4-2 formation and performing well. Eze has stepped into the left wing role but as a player who excels in a central role, whether he’s coming from the left or the right likely won’t matter too much to him. Bringing Benrahma into the side adds an extra goal threat and also takes some of the burden off of Zaha. He’d be playing in a side that is established in the Premier League, has space for him and with quality players that will help get the best out of each other.
At £25million, Benrahma is a deal that the majority of the Premier League should probably have taken a look at. As it stands though, it’s likely to be a London side that take him once again and he will have to work his way up the league table too.