Noel Whelan has tipped West Ham captain Mark Noble to be replaced with Said Benrahma against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker claimed the clash against the Seagulls is “made for” Benrahma because of his attacking quality.
Noble replaced the Algerian in David Moyes’ starting XI last Monday where he made just his second Premier League start of the season in the Irons’ 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Benrahma has enjoyed a fine start to life at West Ham and the Hammers have not lost either of the two Premier League games he has started.
Asked by Football Insider whether he expects the 25-year-old to replace Noble at the London Stadium on Sunday, Whelan said: “I’d like to think so, I really would.
“The Brighton game is one they’ll be looking to win and cause problems going forward.
“There’s no doubt about it that when Benrahma was in the side he was a thorn in Leeds United.
“He was involved in everything positive going forward, he was on the ball, he was creating chances, taking shots on. He was a standout for me that evening.
“They lack that when you take him out the side.
“When you put a Noble in he doesn’t have the same effect going forward – it’s a very defensive mood.
“Sometimes you’re better off just going out and attacking teams like Chelsea. Get a player like Benrahma on the ball and cause them problems. You lose that when you take him out.
“I do think that game against Brighton is made for Benrahma, getting in those little pockets, getting on the ball, creating chances and being a threat going forward.
“He’s an exceptional player he really is, and when he’s out the side you lose that cutting edge.”