Diafra Sakho last featured for The Hammers in a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City in May, leaving Slaven Bilic to rely upon out-of-form newcomers Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri and Ashley Fletcher up top this season.
However, the aforementioned trio have yet to hit the back of the net between them, meaning the return to fitness of the 26-year-old hitman comes as a great relief to everyone of a West Ham persuasion, including the chairman.
David Gold admitted to the club’s official website yesterday that Sakho’s return will be a huge boost for a club who have toiled in front of goal since the campaign began, the introduction of a highly-rated Italian international from Juventus and Argentine’s next great goal machine doing little to prevent The Hammers from rubbing shoulders with Sunderland rather than pushing for progression after last season’s seventh placed finish.
Sakho proved to be one of the most inspired signings of Sam Allardyce’s reign at the capital club, his impressive leap and clever movement helping the Frenchman score in each of his first six games in English football after arriving from Metz.
And, although his influence waned in his second season on English shores, the strikers’ athleticism and fox-in-the-box tendencies will surely elicit a sigh of relief from Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini.
West Ham’s creative stars are mass producers of ammunition, but too many of their team-mates have been guilty of firing blanks lately.
The return of Sakho, and his prodigious leap, could provide Bilic with the firepower his side have been crying out for.
However, only a back problem prevented Sakho from departing for West Brom in the summer after a £15 million fee was agreed, as reported by the BBC, meaning he has much to do if he is to get The Hammers fans onside after a summer of speculation.
A goal against at White Hart Lane on Saturday evening wouldn’t be a bad place to start, if Bilic believes he is fit enough to make his long-awaited return that is.