Diafra Sakho’s toxic relationship with West Ham United is nearly over; David Moyes is expected to leave the striker out of his squad for tonight’s game with West Bromwich Albion. It is increasing likely Sakho will be sold to the highest bidder during the January transfer window, with Swansea City rumoured to be interested in a deal.
Sakho is keen to move in search of first-team football, motivated by Senegal’s place at the 2018 World Cup. Meanwhile, West Ham will want rid of a disruptive player who had an unauthorised medical to force a Rennes transfer in August. Further, Sakho’s contract has caused friction with management due to a controversial appearance clause. Shipping him off should suit all parties.
Selling him to a relegation rival in Swansea could be risky, but if they can match the £15 million asking price it might be too much to refuse. West Ham currently have a surplus of strikers, with Andre Ayew another potential departure.
Sakho hasn’t hit the heights of his debut Premier League campaign, where he was the club’s top scorer and bagged October 2014’s Player of the Month award. Regardless, he is one of just five Hammers to muster more than one league goal this season. Sakho’s two Premier League goals came in just 296 minutes, making him one of our most efficient strikers; whereas Andy Carroll’s job remains safe despite failing to hit the net this season. Sakho has been efficient despite not starting in any league games this season.
It would be a shame to lose one of our better attacking options, but Sakho’s agent has been vocal about moving on:
“Diafra wants to play and to start matches, but West Ham are not offering him the opportunities.
"So he has declared his intention to look elsewhere. He is not short of offers.
"He has stated his desire to leave since the last transfer window.
“His club hasn't been happy about this, Diafra will never pick a fight to achieve his aim, he will leave, but he'll do it in the proper manner.
"He has remained professional despite the numerous offers he's received. He wants to play for a club that puts more faith in him."
It is shame that off-field issues have caused Sakho’s career to end on such a sour note, but his position became untenable after the frequent tantrums. Regardless, Sakho scored some important goals for the club, most recently breaking the deadlock against Swansea. Too much has happened for him to continue at the club. In time, Sakho’s contributions on the pitch might be more fondly recalled.