It’s fair to say that the mention of Modibo Maiga to any West Ham United fan, won’t be met with smiles and fond memories. The Malian striker made 31 appearances after his move from FC Sochaux, he scored three times and left the club without so much as a whimper.
This summer the 27-year-old striker moved on loan to FC Metz this summer and on Saturday evening, after finally finding his match-sharpness, he scored his first goals for the club.
Metz hadn’t won in three games, and facing Caen at home, it was important that they picked up all three points against another side just trying to avoid relegation.
His first came after just 10 minutes, getting on the end of Florent Malouda’s cross from the left, Maiga did well to beat Remy Vercoutre to the ball, stabbing it under the goalkeeper.
Maiga then put his side 2-0 up early in the second half, he controlled a heavy pass by Kevin Lejeune, took another touch inside, before placing it past the Caen ‘keeper.
The away side came back and levelled the game at 2-2 and Metz had to rely on Florent Malouda's late penalty to win all three points. However, without Maiga's first half contribution, Metz would have struggled to take anything from the game.
Albert Cartier's side had gone three games without a win and the three points takes them up to eighth in the league. It is a great position for a team that was just looking to stay up this season.
Now he is match fit, Maiga looks a lot more comfortable in his surroundings at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, or perhaps it is just being back in Ligue 1.
When he played for FC Sochaux, he scored 24 goals in two seasons, garnering interest from Newcastle United and West Ham United. His time at the Hammers didn’t work; neither did his loan spell at Queen’s Park Rangers.
Metz boss Albert Cartier will be hoping that a fit and happy Maiga can once again become a top Ligue 1 goal scorer. If he has a good season, it would be interesting to see if any other English side took a chance of the forward. For now it is up to Maiga to continue to put the ball in the back of the net.