Monday, 21 September 2015


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Diafra Sakho

Diafra Sakho
Diafra Sakho July 2015.jpg
Sakho warming-up at the Boleyn Ground in July 2015
Personal information
Full nameDiafra Sakho
Date of birth24 December 1989 (age 25)[1]
Place of birthGuédiawaye, Senegal[1]
Height1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)[1]
Playing positionStriker
Club information
Current team
West Ham United
Youth career
2006–2007Génération Foot
Senior career*
2012–2013→ Boulogne (loan)7(0)
2014–West Ham United29(12)
National team
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 04:15, 20 September 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Diafra Sakho (born 24 December 1989) is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club West Ham United.
He began his career in the lower divisions of French football, with Metz and on loan at Boulogne, before joining West Ham in August 2014. Since May 2014, he has been a full international for the Senegal national football team.



Sakho started in Dakar with Generation Foot, a football academy and feeder club for FC Metz, at age 16.[2] After six months with the club he moved to France in 2007 to start training with Metz. After 17 goals in 22 games for FC Metz's reserve team in the 2009–10 season he was awarded a first-team place. He made his first-team debut in a goalless draw at home to Brest, on 19 January 2010. His debut goal came on 10 September, in a 1–1 home draw with Nantes. He was mainly used as a substitute in his first three seasons and was loaned to Boulogne in January 2012. In May 2012, with Metz in Championnat National, the third tier of French football, new manager Albert Cartier gave Sakho a starting place in the team. The following season Sakho scored 19 goals in 33 league appearances as Metz finished in second place and won promotion back to Ligue 2 at their first attempt. In season 2013–14 he scored 20 goals in 36 appearances as Metz won the Ligue 2 title.[3] For his performances, Sakho was voted Ligue 2 Player of the Year for the 2013–14 season.[3][4]

West Ham United

On 14 August 2014, Sakho signed a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee with West Ham United, becoming their seventh signing before the start of the 2014–15 season.[3] Upon his joining, he said: "This is a proud day to have signed for West Ham, I really love English football and I've dreamed of coming to play for one of the big English clubs. Today, West Ham have given me that opportunity and I didn't hesitate to grab it".[3]

2014–15 season

Sakho with West Ham United in August 2014
Sakho made his West Ham debut on 23 August, in a 3–1 away win against Crystal Palace, coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Carlton Cole.[5] On 26 August, he scored his first competitive goal for the club against Sheffield United in the second round of the League Cup.[6] Sakho's first League goal came on 15 September in a 2–2 away draw against Hull City. Initially credited as an own goal by Hull defender Curtis Davies, the goal was later awarded to Sakho.[7] He made his home debut against Liverpool on 20 September, and scored his second goal with a chip over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet as the Hammers won 3–1.[8] On 29 September Sakho scored in a 2–1 away defeat by Manchester United. This was his fourth goal in his first four starts for the club, breaking a 26-year-old record previously held by Leroy Rosenior.[9] On 25 October 2014 Sakho scored West Ham's second goal in a 2–1 home win against reigning champions, Manchester City. In doing so he became the first West Ham player to score in six straight Premier League games and matched Micky Quinn's Premier League record, set in 1992, of scoring in his first six starts.[10][11]For his performances, Sakho was awarded the Premier League Player of the Month for October 2014, with his manager Sam Allardyce namedManager of the Month.[12]
Sakho was injured during a game on 1 January 2015 against West Bromwich Albion.[13] This resulted in him being withdrawn from the Senegal squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Senegal officials announced that they would try to prevent him playing for West Ham during the duration of the competition in Africa.[14] With Senegal still involved in the competition, he returned to fitness with officials from the country asking him to fly toEquatorial Guinea so that his fitness could be assessed. Unable to fly to Africa he was taken from London to Ashton Gate by limousine and on 25 January 2015 he scored the only goal in West Ham's FA Cup win against Bristol City.[15][16] On 31 January 2015, with Senegal reported to have reported the case to FIFA, Sakho was withdrawn from West Ham's squad for an away game against Liverpool.[17] West Ham were fined 100,000 Swiss francs by FIFA for playing Sakho in the FA Cup during the Africa Cup of Nations, avoiding a maximum penalty of being expelled from the tournament.[18] Sakho finished as West Ham's top scorer in the 2014-15 season despite finishing the end of the season out injured.[19] He scored 12 goals, 10 in the league and one in both the FA Cup and League.[20]

2015–16 season

Sakho opened the 2015–16 season by scoring the first two goals in a UEFA Europa League first qualifying round first-leg game on 2 July, as West Ham won 3–0 at home against Andorran team Lusitanos.[21] In the return leg a week later, he was sent-off for violent conduct in the 15th minute after "raising his hands" to Lusitanos player Moisés San Nicolás.[22]

International career

Sakho made his international debut for Senegal in a friendly match against Burkina Faso, on 21 May 2014.[3] His debut goal came four days later, in a 3–1 win over Kosovo.[3]Following his successful start to his career with West Ham United, Sakho came to the attention of France manager Didier Deschamps. As Sakho had, by October 2014, not played a competitive game for Senegal he remained eligible to play for either Senegal or France. [23] In November 2014 he was recalled to the Senegal squad by coach, Alain Giresse, for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification games against Egypt and Botswana.[24] Sakho missed the final tournament due to a back injury.[25]

Career statistics

As of 30 August 2015[26][27]
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupEuropeTotal
Metz2009–10[26]Ligue 25010000060
2010–11[26]Ligue 2305201000335
2011–12[26]Ligue 290120000102
2012–13[26]Championnat National33191031003720
2013–14[26]Ligue 237200010003820
Boulogne (loan)2011–12[26]Ligue 27000000070
West Ham United2014–15[28]Premier League23102111002612
2015–16[26]Premier League4100002[a]263
Career total1485573622216362
  1. Jump up^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League





Personal life

Sakho was arrested on 6 August 2015 on suspicion of common assault, criminal damage and malicious communication towards his girlfriend. He was bailed until late September.[29] On 23 August he was again arrested, on suspicion of threatening to kill and witness intimidation,[30] and was bailed without charge two days later.[31] He denies all allegations put against him.[31]