In scoring six goals in six starts for West Ham Diafra Sakho has adorned himself to the Boleyn Ground faithful, but apparently not to Senegal coach Alain Giresse, prompting the striker to speak out over his omission.
But in all truth, the national team snub could be a blessing in disguise for the Hammers, as they look to continue their momentum into their tie against Manchester City at the weekend.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard this week Sakho stated:
“When I signed for West Ham, he [Giresse] phoned me and said that as I was changing clubs he will want to see how it goes. But then I started scoring goal after goal and many people in Senegal asked for my call-up. I didn’t hear from him. It is a lack of courage.”
The Frenchman in charge of the Lions of Teranga has retorted at how the Hammers number 15 is behind a number of senior regulars such as Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Moussa Sow in the pecking order and needs to continue to flourish.
And while it may have upset Sam Allardyce’s £4.5m summer signing from Metz, it could be a boost for the fortunes of the east London club.
First and foremost, Sakho will no doubt double his efforts at club level in order to force Giresse’s hand.
But more importantly, if he doesn’t force his way into the Senegal squad, he will be one of a few African regulars in the Premier League not to hit his club with an enforced absence during the Africa Cup of Nations in January and February.
The Hammers are likely to be without his compatriot Cheikhou Kouyate and possibly Alex Song for that period, so any opportunity to have Sakho available would be great for the Claret and Blues.
Should Senegal qualify and go on to do well in the tournament, representatives would miss at least home ties against Hull and Manchester United and a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool.
In what could be a defining factor for the Hammer’s season, which could determine whether they end up in the Top 10 (13/10), or even the Top 6 (18/1), it will be vital to have all of their top resources available to them.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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