Sam Allardyce explains reason why Enner Valencia's goalscoring form dipped recently

Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll, Mark Noble

Sam Allardyce believes speculation of a move to Chelsea has had a detrimental impact on West Ham striker Enner Valencia.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has told the Daily Mirror that Enner Valencia's recent goal drought was in part because of the speculation over his future at Upton Park.

Ecuadorian striker Valencia, 25, was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup having scored all of Ecuador's goals in Brazil, and his superb showing at the tournament prompted West Ham to pay a reported £12m to lure him from Mexican side Pachuca.

A former winger, Valencia has impressed the Upton Park faithful with his pace and direct running to trouble defences, especially on the counter attack.

In fact, he was even linked with a shock move to Chelsea on deadline day, with the Daily Mirror believing that the Blues wanted to sign him in a swap deal for striker Loic Remy.

However, Valencia has endured a goal drought in the Premier League recently, going 14 games without a goal before his consolation strike against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Now set to face off against Chelsea tonight, Valencia will be relied upon to score goals with Andy Carroll out injured - and Allardyce believes the speculation of a move to Stamford Bridge has taken its toll on Valencia.

"I think [the speculation] affects you without doubt, subconsciously. I don't think he generally goes around thinking it has affected him as no player ever tells you that they are playing badly," said Allardyce. "But, subconsciously, it has to have an effect as you are not absolutely certain about your future."

"I think that there has definitely some thought that goes on subconsciously in terms of, 'Where am I going to be next year? Should I stay here or should I not? Should I go somewhere else? Or I am just looking after myself as it [the deal] is already done?"

Having gone around three months without a league goal, West Ham now have to hope that the drought is behind Valencia and that he can help spark a Hammers revival against Chelsea, with the club winning just one of their last ten league games.

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