West Ham's Enner Valencia is starting to become a concern

West Ham Championship

Enner Valencia has not made the most encouraging start to his West Ham United career.

West Ham United's signing of Enner Valencia this summer was one which raised a number of eyebrows, but he has not fully lived up to expectations in his time at the Boleyn Ground so far.

The Hammers expended £12 million to sign Valencia from Mexican side Pachuca, with Sam Allardyce intending for him to be the man to lead their line.

However, despite announcing his arrival with an explosive strike against Hull City, question marks are starting to emerge over the Ecuadorian.

Although there can be no doubting that he is a useful weapon for the side to have, his return of three goals in 19 games is simply not good enough for such an expensive purchase.

Valencia has already been forced out of starting contention, with Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho both seemingly ahead of him in the hierarchy and he is having to make do with a peripheral role.

Allardyce's utilisation of a player who looks to have the ability to bludgeon defences has been slightly strange, with Valencia being played out wide on regular occasions.

As a result, there are mitigating circumstances for his goalscoring record to date, but he will realise that hitting the back of the net was his main mandate when brought to the club. 

Indeed, when given the chance to play in his preferred role Valencia has done little to stake his claim for permanent inclusion.

The 25-year-old led the line for the Hammers against Everton last night, but Allardyce publicly criticised the striker's finishing after he wasted a number of chances. 

The Hammers' form, which has been startlingly good, has protected Valencia so far, but excuses are starting to run out for him. 

Although he has all the attributes to make him a success, Valencia needs to start proving that he is ready to perform the function that he was brought for because, at the moment, he is risking slipping even further down the pecking order and that must be a concern for Hammers supporters. 

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