Said Benrahma will come back into the West Ham starting XI for their Sunday clash with Brighton, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the ex-England defender made his assessment following Mark Noble’s uninspiring performance on Monday evening in the Hammers’ 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Noble came into the side for Said Benrahma as David Moyes switched from the 4-2-3-1 in which West Ham had lined up in their previous two matches against Crystal Palace and Leeds to a flatter, more conservative 4-3-3 system.
It was the captain’s first start since the opening day of the season when he featured in the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
His inclusion had its merits, with West Ham controlling possession for long periods – they had 47% in the end, more than Chelsea’ three other most recent opponents, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton, who managed 41%, 45% and 28% respectively.
But commentators also expressed that West Ham showed a worrying lack of creativity, with neither Noble, nor his midfield partners Tomas Soucek or Declan Rice able to open up the Chelsea defence.
In light of this, Mills acknowledge that the captain would likely be taken out of the team for Sunday’s meeting with Brighton, but he also expressed a degree of sympathy with David Moyes’ rotation policy.
Asked whether he thought Moyes would reinstate Benrahma and pivot back to a more attack-minded approach, Mills told Football Insider: “I would think so. Of course, David Moyes will assess it on who’s fit and what he’s got available.
“And also what he’s up against is a big, big part of that. Against Chelsea, you know that attacking talent, you know the quality that they have.
“[Noble’s inclusion] didn’t quite work out, but it was against Chelsea, who are a superb side. So you have to look at that and go ‘right, okay, it is what is.’
“I think you have to pick and choose squads, especially with fixtures coming thick and fast, you have to be careful about who you want 100% fit for certain games.”
A one-club man, Noble has played at least 30 matches in 12 of the last 13 West Ham campaigns.
This season, however, he is on track to fall well short of this number, with just seven appearances to his name, five of them as a substitute.