Saïd Benrahma is hoping his influence on West Ham United will continue to grow with every game he plays.
The 25-year-old made his full debut in the 2-1 Premier League victory at Leeds United on Friday evening, where he unleashed a team-high six shots, caught the eye with his elusive dribbling ability and showed admirable work-rate to keep the hosts’ influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips quiet.
Benrahma’s performance drew praise from matchwinner Angelo Ogbonna, but Benrahma knows manager David Moyes and his staff will be demanding more from their talented No9 going forward.
I play for the team and to be effective, not for myself, and the purpose of this skill is to create a chance or a goal
“I am so happy for my first start, I am happy we won and that I played 84 minutes,” he told whufc.com. “Step by step, game after game and the more I play, I am getting a good feeling with the team and I am happy with the way I am adapting.
“All my teammates and coaches have helped me to settle in here at the Club, which has been good for me.”
The Algeria international has ball skills that make him a nightmare for opposition players to deal with, but Benrahma says being able to beat his man is of no use if he cannot put a key pass or shot on the end of it.
“I play for the team and to be effective, not for myself, and the purpose of this skill is to create a chance or a goal,” he confirmed.
With two assists, seven shots and four key passes in just 164 minutes of Premier League action, he is practising what he preaches, too.
Benrahma’s next opportunity to showcase his talents will come on Wednesday evening, when West Ham host Crystal Palace at London Stadium.
There, he hopes to continue his bright start to life in Claret and Blue by helping his team make it five wins in six top-flight matches.
“We work for this and I hope we win because this is an important home game, so we will work hard to perform the same as before, so why not!” he smiled.
Wednesday’s game see Benrahma go head-to-head with two of the Premier League’s other outstanding creative talents in Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze. While they will be on opposing sides, the No9 is an admirer of the Eagles pair.
“They are very good players and I enjoy when I play on the same pitch as good players, but we want to stop them on Wednesday!” he said.
Benrahma’s arrival at West Ham has seen a sharp upturn in interest in the Hammers in his home country, Algeria, from where the football-mad population is taking great interest in his career via social media.
“It’s normal because when you are Algerian, you know how much we love football!” he laughed. “Algerians are like this. They are amazing. It makes me so happy I am Algerian!”