Benrahma has stinker on Lyon debut but it may be no laughing matter

Said Benrahma had a stinker on his Lyon debut but it may be no laughing matter for West Ham in the long run.

While Said Benrahma’s departure from West Ham seemed inevitable in the winter window, it ended up being highly controversial.

Not only after Lyon accused the Hammers of ‘incomprehensible behaviour’ when the deal missed the deadline. Or the fact FIFA permitted it 24 hours later.

Or indeed the fact West Ham allowed Benrahma to leave despite also selling Pablo Fornals without signing a replacement.

Since moving to Lyon on loan with an option, Benrahma has already had a pop at West Ham and the lack of intensity in training compared to the Ligue 1 club.

Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

Benrahma has stinker on Lyon debut

Well it certainly showed in his first game.

Because Benrahma had a stinker on his Lyon debut but it may be no laughing matter for West Ham.

The Algerian winger started for Lyon away at relegation rivals Montpellier.

Monpellier took a 1-0 lead in the first half. And after proving ineffective – as he has been so often for the Hammers – Benrahma was subbed off after just 57 minutes to make way for Lyon outcast Rayan Cherki.

The substitution certainly did the trick as Lyon turned the game around to win 2-1.

Benrahma’s difficult start is not a good thing for West Ham, though.

Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

No laughing matter for West Ham

Because Lyon have confirmed the loan deal they struck with the Hammers only has an option to buy and not an obligation.

The loan has cost Lyon £5.1m. And the option to buy is set at £12.3m plus a highly unlikely 10% sell on applied to any future profit the French club might make.

But the onus is very much on Benrahma to impress if West Ham are to fetch that fee.

Given the 28-year-old will have just one year left on his Hammers contract in the summer, his value will dwindle further if Lyon do not take up that option.

So West Ham want to see him do well there. Not be subbed off less than an hour into his debut in a move that helped his team record a vital comeback win in their bid to avoid relegation.

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