West Ham striker scores first goal since December 2012 - Can he prevent January exit?

West Ham Upton Park

Modibo Maiga is considered available in January after struggling to have an impact at West Ham. But he scored his first goal of the season yesterday.

When West Ham snapped up Malian striker Modibo Maiga for a cut-price fee of £3.5 million last summer it looked like being a bargain for The Hammers.

He had impressed during his time with Sochaux in France, and had plenty of suitors chasing his signature.

But Sam Allardyce convinced him that Upton Park was the best destination to further his career, and Maiga agreed.

But things did not click for the player in his debut term in England. He scored four goals in 23 appearances for both club and country, and only played once after the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of the year - with injury and form the main reason.

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In fact Maiga had not scored a competitive goal since he bagged a goal against Chelsea on the 1st December 2012.

So, with Maiga approaching a year without a competitive goal, yesterday must have come as a major relief.

Maiga bagged a goal as Mali lost 3-1 to South Korea in an international friendly yesterday - his first strike since that goal in Rafa Benitez’s first game in charge of The Blues - but in pre-season things seemed to be on the up.

He was finding the back of the net and performing well, giving West Ham fans a little hope that he would be something of a second season bloomer.

But he has not made it stick in the Premier League, and is widely expected to be up for sale in January.

But Maiga still has time and a striker shortage at West Ham to prove his worth. It could be he simply had the yips, and after finally opening his account for the season he can kick on and demonstrate some of that ability he gave us a glimpse of in the summer.

With Andy Carroll still out injured he is going to have plenty of time to prove it, can this goal against South Korea spark a renaissance?

Is Maiga ready to finally have an impact at West Ham?

image: © Tom Cuppens

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