Said Benrahma heads back to Brentford on Sunday with some rare praise from David Moyes ringing in his ears.
West Ham boss Moyes has never been entirely convinced by Benrahma since signing the Algerian winger for £20million from the Bees two years ago.
The Scot regularly downplays Benrahma’s displays, insisting he needs to improve on his decision making in the final third and track back more defensively.
But Benrahma took his goal tally for the season to 11 with a penalty against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night, while he has also contributed five assists.
And tellingly, he was also joint top in the rankings for making interceptions against the Dutch side in a performance which suggested the penny may have finally dropped.
“He played really well on Thursday night. He missed a big chance for us, but he played really well,” said Moyes, again being careful to keep the 27-year-old’s feet on the ground.
“What he is doing is good. He has had periods of ups and downs, but in the main he has started to show a bit more consistency.
“He is more conscientious about his job and how he has to do the job for the team.
“There are a lot of things he has done really well, but we want him to add more goals and assists to his game more than anything.”
Benrahma is likely to start against his old club at the Gtech Community Stadium, but Moyes will make changes with West Ham virtually safe from relegation and facing a semi-final second leg with AZ in the Netherlands on Thursday.
Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio are set to have an afternoon off with Flynn Downes, Maxwel Cornet and Danny Ings coming in.
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