Stats: Is West Ham's Diafra Sakho the new Demba Ba?

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United's summer signing has been on top form since moving to the Premier League.

West Ham's Diafra Sakho has taken the Premier League by storm this season with four goals in his first five league appearances for the Hammers.

The Senegalese front-man has professed his desire to be the second coming of Chelsea's Didier Drogba in English football's top flight, but Sakho's fellow countryman Demba Ba, who also played for West Ham, is perhaps a more apt comparison at this stage.

There is a real similarity between Sakho's electric start to this season and Ba's performance in the 2011-12 campaign, when he burst onto the Premier League scene and established himself as one of the league's top hit-men.

 2014-15 TeamPosTouches per gameShots per gameShot accuracyGoalsMins per goalConversion rateDribble successAerial duel success
Diafra Sakho WHU FW 33.20 2.60 46.15 4 94.75 30.77 25.00 29.41
 2011-12 TeamPosTouches per gameShotsShot accuracyGoalsMins per goalConversion rateDribble successAerial duel success
Demba Ba NEW FW 35.88 3.21 41.28 16 170.56 14.68 40.43 42.96

In fact, Sakho has been the more efficient forward so far, with a superior conversion rate and fewer minutes between his goals. Sakho is scoring at nearly twice the rate of his compatriot despite Ba's excellent record of a goal every 170 minutes.

Ba was slightly more involved for Newcastle than Sakho has been for West Ham, with more touches and shots per game, but that is likely to change when Sakho becomes more accustomed to his new side's playing style.

Sakho is clearly the less effective player in the air and has not been as successful at dribbling past his man, but his clinical displays in front of goal have made up for those shortcomings.

Of course, it is still very early in Sakho's career and it would be foolish to expect him to maintain this level of efficiency in front of goal with such a small sample size. But the signs are there that the 24-year-old can follow in Ba's footsteps and cement his place as a top Premier League striker.

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