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Player Grade: Diafra Sakho We Hardly Saw Thee

Remembering a season to forget for the Senegal international

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Manchester United v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Summary

Diafra Sakho’s third season with West Ham was injury plagued and riddled with speculation over the striker’s future. He made four appearances, with his only goal coming against Manchester United in a 1-1 draw.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Expectations

Expectations for Sakho were mixed going into the 2016/17 campaign; in August a £16 million transfer to West Bromwich Albion collapsed due to a failed medical. I remember being disappointed about this because I felt like we would never get that much money for Sakho again. After this season those fears have become reality.

Earlier in the summer the Senegal international had requested a transfer among persistent rumours of a bust up with Slaven Bilic. This flared up again in April 2017 with The Sun reporting the two engaged in a bitter row after Sakho reportedly refused to sit on the bench for the Sunderland game. Of course, the West Ham manager rubbished this accusation.

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

Performance

From a statistical perspective 1 goal in 4 games is decent for a striker returning from injury, he battled with injuries throughout the season. Back problems ruled Sakho out for the season in March and then he was later ruled out for the season again in May. My conspiracy theory is that the Bilic drama caused these conflicting reports of the striker’s injury status. With the manager hoping to end rebellious Sakho’s season early.

High Point

So let’s talk about the actual on-pitch performances for Sakho this season. There was the aforementioned goal against Manchester United, that was pretty nice. Dimitri Payet whipped in a cross that Sakho headed in at close range.

That was the highlight of his season.

Low Points

There were a lot more of these unfortunately, such as the anonymous appearances against Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton. Plus the off-field stuff like frequent injuries and disruption.

Next Season

I sincerely hope that Sakho isn’t at the club next season, his presence is likely disrupting the dressing room, especially with the persistent reports of clashes with the manager. West Ham already have a ridiculously injury-prone striker and his name is Andy Carroll. It’s not helpful to have two.

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

It’s time for Sakho to move on, it would help everyone if he left the club and tried to reinvent himself elsewhere.

Final Grade – D