We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie believes “it’s about time” Said Benrahma earns his full West Ham debut ahead of Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United.

Since joining the Hammers on a loan-to-buy basis from Brentford that could see the East London club splash out £30million in the future [BBC Sport], Benrahma has been limited to just two short appearances as a substitute.

The 25-year-old Algeria international spent a matter of minutes on the pitch when he made his debut against Liverpool but had more of an impact in the 1-0 win over Fulham before the international break by assisting Tomas Soucek’s late winner.

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Ex-West Ham striker McAvennie is now eager to see David Moyes hand Benrahma a start this weekend when the Irons take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

“He can’t be far away [from his first start] because he’s come on and done alright,” McAvennie told West Ham Zone.

“Moyes will be thinking defensively first and foremost and then Benrahma’s the player you want when you’ve got that freedom.

“Soucek will score goals, [Declan] Rice will get the ball, keep it and pass it and do all the dirty work. You need someone like Benrahma who’s going to open the door for [Michail] Antonio or create something.

“You need that bit of creativity and there’s no doubting the boy’s got it in abundance.

“He’s here at the club and he’s a good player so he’s got to start at some point. And why not?

“I would say it’s about time he got a start.”

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Benrahma has been unfortunate to some degree because he’s arrived at the London Stadium with West Ham in very good form.

Moyes really cannot justify dropping any players out of his usual starting line-up right now but Benrahma will have given the Scot some food for thought when he played a key role in the win over Fulham.

Stats by WyScout show that the ex-Brentford attacker completed 90 per cent of his passes, found the target with both of his shots at goal, made three recoveries in the opposition’s half and had three touches inside the penalty area.

While Fulham are hardly one of the best teams in the Premier League, Sheffield United have not shown themselves to be any better in the opening games of this season.

And if there’s a match for Benrahma to finally start in, it’s against a team that’s bottom of the league.

In other West Ham news, McAvennie has also warned the Hammers about Sheffield United’s Oli Burnie ahead of Sunday’s showdown.

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