David Gold explains why he finds West Ham striker Diafra Sakho unusual

Slaven Bilic

West Ham star Sakho has not only been praised for his goalscoring.

Speaking to the official West Ham website, co-chairman David Gold has admitted that he finds Diafra Sakho an unusual striker due to the work he does off the ball, on top of his impressive goalscoring ability.

Gold said: “Sakho is a very unusual centre-forward in that most of the players who play in his position don't work as hard as what he does. Diafra runs for the team and pulls defenders out of position. He never stopped with his work-rate and was rewarded with a goal as well. I believe there is nothing stopping him scoring 20 goals this season.”

Sakho has started this season in slow form, having only scored two goals in the opening six games, especially in relation to his early-season performances last term.

However, he has two in his last three games, and his goal was the vital one as the Hammers defeated Manchester City by a 2-1 scoreline on Saturday.

Yet, it is not this striking ability which has truly stood out for Gold, who believes it is the forward’s work rate and energy which truly sets him apart.

From a defensive standpoint, Sakho does impress, winning 0.7 tackles per game and clearing the ball 1.7 times per game. He also is only dribbled past 0.5 times per game, which for a striker is an impressive stat.

Sakho is well regarded for his ability to hold onto the ball, and even in the dying minutes of games the 25-year-old is chasing down defenders looking to win the ball back, or running out of his own area with the ball to ensure it eases pressure on his own defence.

His abilities are well regarded in the Premier League, and he became a quick fan favourite at the Boleyn Ground last term, and it is because he is always working for his team - not just because he is a talented goalscorer.

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