Chelsea have had a plethora of dynamic, skilful wingers over the years. From Joe Cole to Eden Hazard, every player has stamped their mark on the club in one way or another. One such name that has been linked with us in the past few days is Brentford’s Algerian wizard Said Benrahma. Benrahma was undoubtedly Brentford’s best player last season helping them to the Championship play-off finals, where they eventually lost to Fulham. With 17 goals and 9 assists, he was one of the most productive players in the whole division. Benrahma is one of those players who are bound to make the step up to the Premier League, so let’s just take a look at what makes him so good.
Style of play
Benrahma has one of the most important traits of a winger, he’s an exceptional dribbler. His relatively low centre of gravity helps him to elude defenders. He attempts an average of 10.28 dribbles per 90 with a success rate of 47.8%. He is quick, dynamic and incredibly skilful, which makes him very hard to deal with for the opposing defenders. Benrahma
thrives the most when given the creative freedom to express himself.
Under Brentford manager Thomas Frank, he plays a sort of free role which means he dribbles all across the final third, creating chances for himself and his teammates. This is a similar role to what Lionel Messi plays for Barcelona. Benrahma’s passing is very strong as well. He is more than capable of switching the play to the opposite flank or make a penetrating pass to the striker. He is especially talented against tight defences which tend to play a low block, which has been a problem for Chelsea at some
points this season. Benrahma specialises in long shots, scoring 4 goals from outside the box last season.
As for weaknesses in his game, the one that stands out is his defensive work rate. He does not make too many recovery runs, which can be a downside when he’s deployed in a counter pressing system. Also, he sometimes tends to go a little overboard with the tricks during dribbling, which results in him losing possession in dangerous positions on the pitch, from where the opposition can launch a counter attack. He needs to work on his decision
making to make sure he has possession of the ball in promising situations.
At 25 years of age, Benrahma is one of the most sought after wingers in the country. A lot of clubs will be rushing for his signature, considering the reported price tag of just around 25 million.
A player like him would be welcome at Chelsea, but he would have to fight for his place. With Christian Pulisic and Calum Hudson-Odoi looking set to stamp their authority on the wings and also the incoming Hakim Ziyech, Benrahma will have to work hard to get a look in. But, with both Willian and Pedro leaving, Chelsea could do a lot worse than having a wing wizard like him as an option from the bench. It’s just a matter of whether he’d be willing to accept that role.