Saïd Benrahma has left Brentford to join West Ham United. The Algerian attacker has joined on an initial season-long loan deal and there is an agreement for the transfer to be made permanent. Saïd heads from West London to East London and is the second player to leave Brentford and head to the Premier League in five weeks after Ollie Watkins joined Aston Villa before the start of the season.
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: "We have spent the last few days discussing how to structure this deal. Everyone has agreed that an initial loan period, and an agreement on that loan eventually becoming permanent, was the best way to proceed for all parties."
Phil continued: "Saïd has been a brilliant player for Brentford over the past two-and a-bit seasons. Thomas and I told him exactly that when we met him on Wednesday morning. As part of that conversation, Saïd suggested, and we agreed, that some money should be used as a reward for Club staff, many of whom have had a direct influence on Saïd's development during his time here and who have done a superb job in difficult circumstances in the last few months. We are happy with the agreement reached and this makes it a nice end to a good transfer window for the Club."
Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “It is always sad to say goodbye to top players and to players that also have a great mentality, and there would never be a great time for Saïd to leave, but it was the right time for him to play in the Premier League and I am happy for him. We have shown we can develop players and get them to Premier League level; we hope that will be with us but if not, it can be with someone else. Saïd has developed massively in the past two years, his numbers of goals and assists speak for themselves but his mentality, defensive work and pressing have all improved since he joined us. As a team we will miss him, and we wish him all the best, but I am also confident about the squad we have, and we are ready to deliver top performances.”
Saïd, 25, joined Brentford from OGC Nice in July 2018 and had a memorable two-year spell with The Bees. He scored 30 goals in 94 Brentford games, finding the net 27 times in 83 Sky Bet Championship appearances, 68 of them from the start and most of them under Head Coach Thomas Frank. Saïd also contributed 31 assists in those 94 games and bagged three hat-tricks, two of them last season, as he helped Brentford to their highest finish in more than 70 years and a place in the Championship Play-Off Final.
Saïd was born in Algeria but played his entire career in France before coming to Brentford. He joined Nice as a teenager and made his debut for Nice just past his 18th birthday. He played for them in the French top flight and has also had loan spells at Angers Sporting Club de l'Ouest, Gazélec Football Club Ajaccio and La Berrichonne de Châteauroux, where he was spotted by The Bees. Saïd scored on his first start for The Bees, against Southend United in a Carabao Cup tie, and ended his first season at Brentford with 11 goals in 45 appearances, winning the EFL Goal of the Month award and the Club’s Goal of the Season prize for one of his strikes in a hat-trick against Hull City in February.
Saïd contributed 17 more goals last term in a season where he was named Brentford Player of the Year, earned a spot in the Championship PFA Team of the Year and also won the Championship Player of the Month prize in July and the PFA Championship Player of the Month award in January. Saïd earned one Algerian cap before joining Brentford and has won four more since. He was involved in both of his country’s games in the international break that just finished.