Allardyce's assistant admits being 'pleasantly surprised' by new West Ham fan favourite

Upton Park

West Ham United assistant manager Neil McDonald says that the club are surprised at how good Diafra Sakho has been.

Despite a poor season last term and rumours over the future of manager Sam Allardyce, West Ham decided to back their manager in the transfer market this summer with the signings of Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Alex Song, Morgan Amalfitano, Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho.

The likes of Cresswell, Song and Valencia have impressed so far this season, and with three wins and ten points this season, West Ham are certainly looking to cement a top ten finish this term - and whilst those aforementioned new signings have looked good, one other addition is stealing the limelight.

Striker Sakho arrived from French side Metz for £3.5m this summer despite rumours of a move to Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers, and after 40 goals for Metz, West Ham were hopeful that he could at least contribute in attack. However, his start to life in East London has been stunning, hitting five goals in his first five starts in all competitions.

At just 24, Sakho appears to have a bright future ahead of him at West Ham, but Hammers assistant boss Neil McDonald admitted to London 24 that the club are surprised by Sakho's remarkable goalscoring record so far in the Premier League, having has reservations over his play.

"In the games where we watched him and the videos that we saw, he looked like a goalscorer with pace and strength, even in the French second division," said McDonald. "There was always the question of whether he could cope with the pace of the Premier League and what we saw of him, he wasn’t the best interlink player."

"We have been pleasantly surprised as he has been really, really good," said McDonald. "His interlink play has been good and that shows each Saturday. He is bringing other players into the game. It is not just his goals, it is all of his play."

"In our experience, it usually takes two or three months for new signings to settle, but he has adapted so well. It is usually tough for the players to hit the ground running because they can’t get used to the pace or they can’t get their first goal, but he has taken it all in his stride," added McDonald.

West Ham now face a trip to Burnley, and whilst Sean Dyche's Clarets have found it hard to find the back of the net, their defence has been relatively solid so far - but Sakho will be confident of scoring yet again to continue his superb introduction to English football.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch