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Grading Feghouli: A season of inconsistency

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Could Feghouli be next season’s Obiang?

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Summary

Much like the Hammers’, Sofiane Feghouli’s season was mired in inconsistency. He made 20 appearances scoring three goals and notching three assists. He played mostly on the right wing, which was a log jam this season. Competition for time was at a premium this season with Michail Antonio, Andre Ayew, and Robert Snodgrass all playing on the right wing at some point. This season gave glimpses great ability but also a tendency to disappear.

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Expectations

The expectations varied but most saw him as the first choice sub for Ayew and Antonio with the potential to become the starter. He saw seen as added cover for our ill-fated Europe League run.

Performance

Feghouli is in an interesting place right now. We saw flashes of potential to be an impact player however, we also saw his ability to be David Blaine and disappear. He played in 20 games and started five which is about what I expected to see this season. He had a very low low and some high highs but overall was middle of the road for much of the season. When compared to Antonio, Ayew, and Snodgrass he rates third according to Squwaka score.

Which is about where I expected him to rate. He and Ayew rated closely and Feghouli was miles ahead of Snodgrass. Even without looking at the statistics I would have rated him a hair lower than Ayew. Ayew benefits from the “ability” to play striker which opens him to some more opportunities than Feghouli.

I say “ability” because he really should not be played there unless he has a strike partner. Feghouli is a straight wing player who isn’t be used in the center of the pitch. In my opinion, if I look at Ayew on the wing vs Feghouli on the wing they become interchangeable in terms of production. Neither really distinguished themselves and made the position their own. Going into next season we’ll have another log jam on the right side which could require a bit of a formation change.

Highlights and Lowpoints

Highs: Burnley away, Liverpool home, West Bromwich Albion home, Crystal Palace home.

A common theme here is the games he scored in with the exception of Liverpool. Feghouli’s play against Liverpool and Burnley showed the potential to be an impact player.

Against Liverpool he looked like the only person on the Hammers that wanted to be there and gave full effort. How much of that was being down big and everyone else looking bad? I’m not sure, but he was a breath of fresh air in an overall rotten game. His play is what sticks out in my mind from that game. His goal against Burnley was fantastic and he played well against both West Brom and Palace but neither goal was overly impressive.

Low: Manchester United home

He was actually playing really well until referee Mike Dean completely blew the call on Feghouli’s red card.

Dean’s decision was one in a series that saw him relegated to the Championship (good riddance) and cost the Hammers that game. It was the lowest point of Feghouli’s season for a number of reasons. First, he was playing well and his absence opened the door for United to win the game. Two, it blew up any shot of Feghouli gaining any consistency by playing well.

Next Season

This is where I am torn. I can see him being next season’s Obiang, a player who started off shaky and ready to be let go, but then becomes an impact player. We saw flashes of his brilliance against Liverpool and Burnley but those were only flashes.

He was consistently mediocre for much of the season. How much of that is being in a new situation and how much of it is his true talent level is the question that must be answered. I believe he is closer to those flashes of brilliance than he is to being a bad player. There has been rumored interest from Roma and other Italian clubs for a move this summer.

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

If we can pick up 8-10 million for him I’d be tempted to sell him and clear out the logjam on the right. I also wouldn’t mind keeping him on next season and seeing if he can settle down and take his spot in the starting XI. I’d rather sell Snodgrass to clear room than Feghouli.

Final Grade – C