What is one of the main topics that always seems to come up when discussing West Ham United? Yep, their issue with strikers. The Irons have had a number of problems when it comes down to finding a leading man to spearhead the attack over the years – Gold and Sullivan have signed 45 different forwards (and still counting) during their time at the club.
And, on 14 August 2014, they must have thought they had finally found someone capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis and put all their troubling times behind them.
Diafra Sakho was brought to the club from Metz by Sam Allardyce for a fee thought to be in the region of £4.5million and it would be safe to say that although a number of fans were not aware of who the Senegalese striker was, they were excited to see him in action for the Hammers.
Here is just a sample of the reactions left to the news on Twitter…
@davidgold Well done. We’ve learnt from last seasons mistakes!! Now let’s all get behind the team!
— Joe Ashley (@realjoeashley) August 14, 2014
@whufc_official Great news! Well done West Ham!
— Joe Ashley ⚒ (@realjoeashley) August 14, 2014
@westhamtransfer Decent player imo. But hes done some good games last seasoon
— Ultrish (@ultrish) August 14, 2014
@westhamtransfer good signing
— Jack Corps (@jackyroo3) August 15, 2014
— Tony Pezzolesi (@TonyHammer61) August 14, 2014
@davidgold great news
— Olly K (@ollykwhufc) August 14, 2014
@jsullivanwhu Yesss, Very pleased about that
— JODY MALLEY (@JODYALLEYCAT) August 14, 2014
@jsullivanwhu well done , can see him being a top player for us if he's given the chance
— Calum coombes (@CalumCoombes) August 14, 2014
And, things looked incredibly bright for the forward at the club as he appeared to be the man that could finally solve their woes in the final third.
In his first seven appearances in the Premier League, Sakho managed to make a blistering start to life in England as he netted in six games in a row, however, things did not really get any better for him from that point onwards.
After a high-profile falling out between Senegal and West Ham regarding an alleged injury and his inability to play in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015, he was largely affected by injuries and made himself an unpopular figure in the following campaign.
Sunderland are thought to have had a bid turned down for Sakho in the summer of 2016 as Allardyce looked to reunite with him, prompting the player to hand in a transfer request, although a subsequent move to West Bromwich Albion in August collapsed after he failed to pass a medical.
Injuries continued to blight his career at West Ham as he only managed to make a limited number of appearances before the club decided to let him go in January 2018, where he joined Stade Rennais, although he is now on loan at Turkish outfit Bursaspor.
Despite having appeared to be a real coup for Gold and Sullivan in the summer of 2014, things ultimately did not work out for Sakho and the club, as West Ham continue to look for a striker to lead the line this present day.
West Ham fans, what do you make of Sakho’s time at the club? Join in with the discussion below by sharing your thoughts with us.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!