Sofiane Feghouli’s short time with us has been a rollercoaster ride but as we head towards the business end of the season, I believe he has now finally found his feet at West Ham.
Signed on a free transfer from Valencia, the French-born Algerian got off to a flying start in claret and blue colours with his Europa League displays. Bagging a goal against Domzale in the opening game of West Ham’s London Stadium tenure, the winger showed signs of a player who had potential to be a threat in West Ham’s attack. But a hamstring injury in early August put his pre-season to waste and left him sidelined for one month and struggling to break back into the side upon his return. And from his return at West Brom away in mid-September to the end of 2016, the 27-year-old had to wait to make a Premier League start for the Hammers, appearing as a substitute on eight occasions.
Despite his efforts it seemed that there was no place for him in the line-up, and this subsequently sparked rumours of a switch to Roma. Although there were transfer rumours surrounding the player, he was thrown in against Man Utd at home and it was in this game where I believe Feghouli began to show more of his real self – even if it was for just 15 minutes. He showed hunger, quality and fight before his frustrating and undeserved dismissal.
The red card was rightfully rescinded, and following Dimitri Payet’s ignominious departure, a second chance was offered to Feghouli to revive his West Ham career. He has since grabbed this opportunity with both hands and he earned himself a deserved place in the starting line-up for seven consecutive games before the squad jetted off to Dubai.
With his admirable work rate and contributing directly to three goals, it finally looks like he is beginning to adapt to the English game and enjoy his football. For me personally, I believe Feghouli has the quality to become a key player here at West Ham. Although he probably won’t live up to the ‘New Zidane’ label he had stamped on him as a youngster, he certainly has the potential to be an integral figure in our attack.
If we stick by him and he continues to get minutes for us, he will adapt to the league and the players surrounding him and we can hopefully see his final product. He could prove to be a great find considering he was a free transfer.