‘What a player!’ – Declan Rice waxes lyrical about West Ham team-mate

West Ham United talisman Declan Rice has selected Said Benrahma for special praise after the side’s 2-1 win over Leeds United on Friday night.

The Hammers got back to winning ways at Elland Road courtesy of goals from Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna, lifting the East London outfit into the Premier League’s top six in the process.

Benrahma was handed his first Premier League start by West Ham boss David Moyes, with the Algerian attacker operating in the number 10 role behind Sebastien Haller in a new-look 4-4-1-1 formation.

The gifted forward is currently on loan from Brentford after an impressive couple of seasons in the Championship and is already showing his quality for the Hammers.

Benrahma played a key role in the West Ham win, with the 25-year-old looking dangerous and creating chances as he operated between the lines.

The performance did not go unnoticed by Rice, who was quick to single out the versatile forward for praise in the aftermath of the victory.

“The game was opening up, you could see that,” the West Ham midfielder told the club’s official website.

“Once we’d beaten their first couple of players, it was an open game and for players like Said and Jarrod to get on the ball.

“Tonight was special and special for Said, as well. What a player!

“To be fair to him, we put him on their holding midfield player Kalvin Phillips, who is such a good player when the ball is at his feet and everything that goes through the Leeds team goes through him, and he really stopped him tonight.

“That was the job the manager put on him and when he got the ball, some of the stuff he did, you look back and go ‘Wow! What a player!’. He was really good.”

Benrahma has plenty of West Ham team-mates for competition in the starting XI, with the likes of Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini having ambitions of operating in a central attacking role behind a lone striker.

However, the 25-year-old has shown already that he can be a devastating weapon in that role for the Hammers, recording two assists in 162 Premier League minutes this season.

Benrahma will surely retain his starting position in the West Ham side for the club’s next game, with a home clash against London rivals Crystal Palace on the horizon next weekend.