Forgotten £4.7m man stakes his West Ham claim with brace

Could Modibo Maiga save West Ham United time and money this summer?

Much has been made recently about the future of West Ham’s striking department. David Sullivan suggested the club were looking into signing a pacy front-man - to partner summer signing Andy Carroll.

Plenty of names have since been linked with the role. Loic Remy, Salamon Kalou, Matej Vydra, Fabio Quagliarella and Peter Odemwingie have all been, strongly or tentatively, linked with a switch to East London in recent weeks.

It does seem an area where they could improve - injecting some pace into the team in the attacking third could certainly give them every chance of a top ten finish.

But while the lists are being drawn up, rumours conjured and enquiries flying around one man has put forward his application for the role - the clubs forgotten signing of last summer.

Modibo Maiga signed from French outfit Sochaux last term for a fee of £4.7 million. The Mali international striker had scored 24 goals in 52 games for the club, and chose West Ham above other interested parties - including Stoke City and Reading.

But despite whatever Sam Allardyce originally saw in Maiga, he struggled to make an impact at Upton Park. The 25-year-old striker only featured in 16 games last term - bagging just four goals in all competitions.

There were underlying reasons for his troubles. He struggled for a long time trying to shake the affects of a malaria infection, picked up in early 2012.

He did however show glimpses of his talent - the goal against Chelsea was a particulary memorable moment from his 2012-13 campaign.

And as West Ham reportedly up their interest in a striker, who possesses all the qualities he was supposed to bring with him, he has started putting up a fight for his first team spot.

Yesterday West Ham despatched of German outfit Eintracht Braunschweig with a comfortable 3-0 win - a game in which Maiga bagged an impressive brace.

It could be too late for Allardyce to rest his laurels on the Malian talent - but it would save the Hammers money, effort and time if they were to give Maiga another go next season.

Do you think Maiga can play a bigger role in the team this season?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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