Premier League

Pundit View: 17 goal West Ham target claims speculation is “giving me confidence” ahead of season defining clash

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Brentford will look to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg of their Championship Playoff semi-final against Swansea. The match at the Liberty Stadium did not go to plan for the second tier’s third-place finishers as Rico Henry was shown a dubious red card, which has since been overturned, and the Swans capitalised by taking the lead in the tie through Andre Ayew.

Tonight, the Bees have the opportunity to put things right and book their ticket in the final at Wembley Stadium, and one of the men they will be relying upon to find the net is 17 goal ace Said Benrahma. The Algerian playmaker has been linked with a move to the London Stadium, and he spoke before the encounter of the flattering attention he had been garnering.

What did he say?

Speaking to the Daily Mail about the speculation surrounding a move across London, Benrahma said: “I was really flattered. But I’m focused on trying to get promotion with Brentford that I don’t want to pay much attention. But, of course, it is giving me confidence.”

“My progression is due to Brentford; they have given me a lot of confidence. I was not very confident when I was at Nice, but now I am. It’s thanks to Brentford. So, I’m going to fight to help take Brentford to the next step,” added the Algerian international.

Full of confidence

Benrahma has been outstanding in the Championship this term and is the Bee’s second-highest goalscorer on 17 league strikes. Furthermore, the winger has played teammates through on goal to provide eight assists, meaning only top-scorer Ollie Watkins has been directly involved in more goals for Brentford this season, 28, than Benrahma’s 25.

The 24-year-old Algerian international has eclipsed the total of goal contributions he managed last season, 24, after scoring ten and assisting 14 goals. The fact he has been involved in 49 strikes over the previous two seasons is a strong indication that the winger is ready to make the step up to the Premier League, hence why the Hammers appear interested.

While he said his focus was to gain promotion with Brentford, Benrahma never explicitly dispelled the links with him making a move away from the new Brentford Community Stadium. If the Bees are unsuccessful in their bid for promotion, then expect a host of clubs to be competing for his signature.

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