Diafra Sakho is having a season to forget. Last August, the striker had a £16 million move to West Bromwich Albion all but sealed and ready to go, only for the West Midlands club to pull out after questions about his fitness. Sakho had put in a transfer request at the beginning of the last summer transfer window but he stayed at West Ham after the failed transfer and was not fit to begin the season.
Sakho finally appeared in a West Ham United match in November, lining up against Tottenham Hotspur in the game that most West Ham fans would like to forget. He was subbed off after 61 minutes. Sakho next appeared in the Manchester United match on the 27th of November, scoring West Ham’s only goal in the draw at Old Trafford, only to be taken off in the 66th minute due to an injury that was only supposed to take a few weeks to heal.
A deeper look at #WestHam's goal against #ManUtd. Payet to #Sakho looks an awful lot like #Payet to #Pogba in France v Sweden. pic.twitter.com/VwkNmjGrLF— sam (@11v11Sam) November 28, 2016
However, Sakho ended up having surgery on his back and has only now started training again. Stijn Vandenbroucke, the Head of Medical and Sports Science at West Ham, had this to say to the official site: “Diafra Sakho... returned to training with the Under-23s this week... However, we must be mindful that Diaf is essentially at the start of his own personal pre-season training schedule. When players return from their off-season, they will go through four to five weeks of pre-season work to build up their strength and fitness and, after undergoing back surgery and three months of rehab, a player needs time to reach sufficient fitness levels before we can contemplate making him available for selection in the Premier League.”
Reading between the lines a little bit, it appears that Sakho would not be available for selection until the beginning of May at the earliest, and given his rehab, it is likely to be out longer. West Ham play the last game of the match on Sunday, 21 May at Turf Moor, and while Sakho may finally be fit by that point, it is doubtful that he will feature.
All of this raises the question, of course, if Sakho will ever play for West Ham again? The striker made his preference clear at the end of last season that he wanted to move on from his West Ham career. Sakho was also unable to play virtually the entire season, only playing in a little over 120 minutes for the club. At this point, the club needs to move on from Sakho, as it appears that he cannot be considered to be in the long-term plans for the club. It is doubtful that the team can get £16 million for him at this point, but a transfer away would be the best for both parties.