When the Hammers announced the signing of Diafra Sakho, a relatively unknown striker from France’s Ligue 2, midway through the summer transfer window, there wasn’t exactly a great deal of hype surrounding his arrival at Upton Park.
Talk began to circulate suggesting that Sam Allardyce had not been the man to pick out Sakho, but rather West Ham’s co-chairman, David Sullivan, believed that the former Metz forward deserved a gamble for his goal-scoring exploits in France. West Ham’s new no. 15 scored 39 goals across two seasons in Ligue 2, yet if it wasn’t for Sunderland overvaluing Connor Wickham, West Ham’s new Senegalese star may never have made it to the East End.
Regardless of whether such stories are actually true, Big Sam has certainly been a big fan of Diafra Sakho so far this season, as with 10 goals scored in all competition for the man who cost the Hammers £3.5m in the summer, West Ham have seemingly found themselves a new hero.
In light of such developments, can the East End club keep hold of their new found fan-favourite, or will Diafra Sakho soon be on his way out of Upton Park?
Whilst the Senegalese striker may be making huge strides in the Premier League so far this campaign, he still remains a player who hasn’t been tested at the top level for a consistent period of time. There are plenty of other star names out there who have led the front-line for their clubs at Champions League level, and on the international scene, who would likely prove a more sensible buy for the Europe’s top clubs.
For that reason, it seems highly unlikely that Diafra Sakho will be on his way out of Upton Park anytime soon. Even if a big offer does come in for the in-form 25-year-old, Sakho has already displayed a certain connection with the West Ham fans that has been somewhat missing among previous new signings at the club. ‘The Sak’ boldly presents the crossed-hammers arm gesture to the Upton Park faithful whenever he nets a goal, and as he has proved that goals are his specialty so far this campaign, the West Ham fans have had a great deal of time to soak in the celebratory atmosphere created by Diafra Sakho.
He may not be the most gifted player with the ball at his feet, and he may not even be 100% reliable in one-on-one situations with the keeper, but as has been present for the striker so far this season, Sakho has the uncanny knack of simply being in the right place at the right time. West Ham’s no. 15 has movement that causes havoc with defenders, and either alongside fellow new-boy Enner Valencia or even Andy Carroll, Sakho can produce results and put the ball in the back of the net pretty consistently.
The former Metz man is therefore likely to stay with West Ham, at least for the foreseeable future. If he did make a shock move this season however, it seems Liverpool, with their current crisis in front of goal, have reportedly expressed an interest in landing the new Hammers star.
Mario Balotelli’s current lack of form is believed to be a major issue at Anfield right now, and if the enigmatic Italian doesn’t find his scoring boots sooner or later, the £16million man could soon find himself on his way out of Liverpool almost as soon as he arrived. The likes of Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have also seemingly been unable to make the grade with Brendan Rodgers’ side, but seeing as West Ham’s Diafra Sakho will likely cost a great deal for not much top-flight experience, do Liverpool really want to take another risk in their striking department?
The prospect of Sakho signing for the Reds this January just seems too unlikely. West Ham are still higher than Liverpool in the league, and as the Senegalese star has reportedly been in further talks with West Ham for an improvement on his current contract, perhaps Diafra Sakho will be a Hammers star for a long while to come.