West Ham boss David Moyes has told Said Benrahma he must wait for his full debut with the team in such pleasing form.
The Algeria winger, signed from Brentford at the end of the summer transfer window, has been gently eased into life in the Premier League, making late substitute appearances against Liverpool and Fulham.
His dramatic impact off the bench against the Cottagers prior to the international break, setting up Tomas Soucek’s injury-time winner, has increased the clamour for Benrahma to start.
But with Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals having started the season in impressive form as the Hammers have amassed 11 points from a tricky first eight matches, Moyes is in no rush to make changes to his team.
“The boys in the team are playing really well so it’s not easy to say ‘sorry, we’re bring someone else in’,” said the West Ham boss.
“If you come to the club it’s a great thing, it’s great competition behind the player and gives the players in the team more reason to perform well.
“So, I think still bringing him in gently, slowly is the best way, and he’s been away for a couple of weeks with Algeria so we’ve not had him on site all the time.
“But I’ve got to say there’s been bits that I’ve seen from him, he’s beginning to have an influence and I can start to see things improving.
“So that’s what we want, when we bring him on I want him to make a difference and show everybody exactly why we bought him.”
The Hammers resume their Premier League campaign against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday and Moyes is looking for his team to pick up where they left off before the international break.
“We want to keep our form up and keep playing the way we’re playing. We’ve been creating a lot of chances and we want to keep that going,” said Moyes.
“But it won’t be easy, Sheffield United have had a very similar run of games to us at the start of the season, with some difficult games. They’ve also had a couple of injuries to key players.
“They’ve got a really good manager and a good group of players who have been around together for a long time, and that will make them strong which they can use as the season goes on.”
Moyes hopes Michail Antonio will be fit for selection on Sunday. The 30-year-old has missed the Hammers’ last two games with a hamstring problem but has been recovering during the international break and is back in training ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane.
Angelo Ogbonna is also working his way back from injury after he was forced off against Fulham with a knock two weeks ago.