West Ham have confirmed the signing of Brentford winger Said Benrahma on an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy if his medical issue becomes ‘unexpectedly extreme’.
The Algerian was inspirational for the Bees last season, racking up 17 goals and assists for Thomas Frank’s exciting side. However, ever since Brentford lost to London rivals Fulham in the playoff final, Benrahma has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League.
After much speculation – and a reported failed medical, leading to an initially planned permanent deal becoming the loan/buy hybrid announced on Friday – West Ham have finally got their man, announcing the 25-year-old’s arrival on their official website.
The club’s new number 9 said: “I’m very, very happy to be a part of this team. West Ham is a historic club, which has been in the Premier League for a very long time. It included and still includes good players. It’s a massive club in England.
“I spoke to the manager, so I know exactly what he expects from me. I’ll try to meet his expectations on the pitch because he’s put faith in me and hopefully I can give it back on the pitch.
“I like this prospect [of playing in the Premier League]! I play football to enjoy myself first and foremost, but it’s always enjoyable to know you’re joining the most-watched league in the world, so I’m definitely looking forward to showing what I can do.”
Benrahma began his career at Nice, spending the majority of his time on loan before being picked up by Brentford in 2018. Over the course of his stay in west London he managed 30 goals and 27 assists in just under 100 appearances.
He comes into a Hammers team in great form, having beaten Wolves 4-0 and Leicester 3-0 in their last two Premier League outings.
He becomes West Ham’s fourth signing of the transfer window, after Slavia Prague pair Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal, as well as Craig Dawson, who has joined on loan from Watford.
In terms of outgoings, fringe players Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill and Josh Cullen have been moved on, while Felipe Anderson has gone on loan to Porto. Jack Wilshere have also been released and hot prospect Grady Diangana was sold to West Brom – much to the ire of supporters.