Diafra Sakho has been a roaring success in the Premier League this season, with 10 goals in 21 games following his summer arrival from Metz.
He came to the club at the same time as Enner Valencia, and the pair were brilliant in the opening weeks. However, Valencia’s form dipped in the middle of the campaign, and Sakho has struggled because of it.
And, even worse, Valencia has missed the last two games through injury, making West Ham’s attack much more one dimensional.
The Ecuadorian has only scored four goals this season for the Hammers, but he provides so much in the link-up play, that he is arguably more important than Sakho.
Whilst the Senegalese forward has been the goal-getter in the side, Valencia is found in the space behind his strike partner and provides all the running and wing-play that is needed to compensate for the narrow diamond formation utilised by Sam Allardyce’s team.
His work rate and style of play does mean that he is not statistically shown to be a great player, especially as a striker who does not score many goals. But it is all the other work he does which goes unappreciated.
Valencia’s form has dipped in the second half of the campaign, and it is no surprise that that has coincided with the Hammers struggling to replicate their early season successes. Sakho might be the success story of the season, but Valencia should be the player who wins all the plaudits.