By Frank McAvennie

6th Nov, 2020 | 4:40pm

Exclusive: Axe Fornals, rarely-seen Iron is ‘Finished Article’ and must start v Fulham - pundit

Frank McAvennie expects winger Said Benrahma to replace Pablo Fornals in the West Ham starting XI against Fulham on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former West Ham and Celtic striker backed the Algerian international to have the quality to step-up to the Premier League.

Hammers boss David Moyes confirmed on Friday that Benrahma will “be in and around the squad” for the visit of the Cottagers.

The winger made his first Irons appearance last week against Liverpool, replacing Jarod Bowen with just one minute of regular time left.

The 26-year-old moved to the London Stadium on deadline day last month from London rivals Brentford on an initial season-long loan.

West Ham have an obligation to make the deal permanent for £20million next month with a further £5million in potential add-ons.

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Asked by Football Insider whether he expects Benrahma to earn his first start against Fulham, McAvennie said: “You’re going to see that. 

“It’s weird that he hasn’t really played. 

“He came on for Fornals so he has to play on the left side. I don’t understand why they got him and let Diangana go.

“But listen, he’s there, they think he is the finished article so I would think he has to play.

“Fornals is pushing him which is good for the team.

“That’s why I would like to see Haller push Antonio – it’s great to have competition.

“Fornals has done brilliantly and they’ve played Yarmolenko so it’s a good fight.

“Benrahma has got talent, there’s no doubting his ability it’s just whether he can come into the team and do it.

“I have every confidence in the boy and I’ve seen bits and pieces and he looks the part.”

In other West Ham news, Football Insider can REVEAL the door has opened for the Hammers to beat Leeds to an £8million signing.