After two years at West Ham United, it looks as if Diafra Sakho is set to depart the club in disappointing circumstances.
A forward that has threatened to offer so much to the Hammers is set for a move to West Bromwich Albion after he practically froze himself out of Slaven Bilic’s plans. Refusing to travel with the first team squad is not only disloyal but alarmingly unprofessional and it looks as if Sakho has shown his true colours in the past month.
When he first arrived at the club, it was admirable to hear a professional footballer relish the challenge of the Premier League so much. He was desperate to prove himself and he had high ambitions.
His debut season for the Hammers was impressive as he linked up with Enner Valencia, forming a strike force that stretched teams due to the relentless work rate and pace of both players.
Hammers fans could always rely on Sakho to put in 100% in any game he played. Even if he did not score, he always put in solid performances and worked hard for the team. He was by no means a sulky character when he was on the pitch.
This is why his change of attitude is so disappointing. Yes, it’s frustrating to hear your club searching for a new striker but that doesn’t mean you can go AWOL. Andy Carroll has probably felt worried about the prospect of more strikers joining the club but he has got his head down and worked hard. If Sakho did the same, it would definitely make Bilic think twice.
Sakho has been unlucky with injuries and this is probably the main reason why the Hammers felt they needed a top striker to rely on. In my view, there is no doubt that Sakho could score 15-20 a season if he stayed fit, but that is something West Ham and Slaven Bilic can no longer hope for.
We just have to make sure that the standard of strikers we bring in are an improvement on Sakho. Let’s not forget this is the man who has scored some important goals for the club. His goal against Tottenham and the strike against Manchester United in the final ever game at the Boleyn Ground won’t be forgotten in a hurry. He was a key component to the way West Ham played last season and the team missed him when he wasn’t available for selection.
He should never have reacted the way he did but it seems as if this reaction is a culmination of issues surrounding the player this year if reports are to be believed.
It will be a shame to see a player of Sakho’s class leave the club. Many fans of other teams are surprised that the Hammers are ready to let the player leave but you have to consider whether a player’s heart and head is still in it and in Sakho’s case, it looked as though he had made his mind up a while ago.
West Brom are closing in on a very good striker for a fee that isn’t exactly expensive these days. If he can stay fit he’ll be a brilliant signing for them.
From a West Ham perspective, it looks as if the club was left with little choice in the end. Thanks for the memories Diafra, but you’ve let yourself and the West Ham fans down this time.