Transfer Opinion: Hammers must side not let family ties decide between Championship stars

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Reports have emerged that West Ham are interested in bringing in either Eberechi Eze or Said Benrahma during the summer transfer window, which opened today. Both players were outstanding in the Championship this term and are the primary assist providers for their respective sides, with Eze notching eight, the same total as the Brentford playmaker.

It has been suggested that due to his agency, Unique Sports Management, who are believed to have a relationship with West Ham co-owners the Sullivan family, Benrahma is the front runner. However, the Hammers hierarchy must not their owner’s family ties inform their decision.

The 24-year-old has appeared as a left forward on 39 occasions for the third-place Championship side, scoring a phenomenal 17 goals, on top of his playmaking exploits to guide the Bees to the playoffs. On Sunday evening they lost the first leg of the semi-final 1-0 to Swansea, and Brentford’s promotion is hanging in the balance. Still, there can be no doubts surrounding the Algerian’s performances this season.

Meanwhile, Eze has starred for Queens Park Rangers, scoring 14, meaning there has been very little to split the pair of West Ham targets regarding their end product. However, the 22-year-old is marginally younger, and more versatile, having played seven different positions this season for Mark Warburton’s side.

Another reason that Eze may be a shrewder investment is that the QPR playmaker has just one year remaining on his current deal at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. It has been suggested that the R’s want £20m for Eze, but given his contractual situation, the midfielder could be available for significantly less.

In attacking areas, Benrahma has outshone the 22-year-old, as the Bees forward plays 2.1 key passes per match and takes on 3.8 shots per game. Meanwhile, Eze has played 1.8 key passes and attempted 2.2 shots per game, though he has still yielded the same number of assists, eight, and only three fewer goals.

Overall there is little to split the two Championship stars, but considering Eze’s contract is in its final year, and that he is two years younger, the QPR midfielder may make a more sensible investment. Signing Benrahma based on the fact that his agent has ties to David Sullivan’s sons may be overlooking a greater prospect who could be available at a cut-price.

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