English Premiership

Bilic: Sakho focused on Hammers

2017-10-05 10:09
Diafra Sakho (Getty Images)

Cape Town - West ham United manager Slaven Bilic has lauded Diafra Sakho for knuckling down this season after his failed move to Rennes during the last transfer window.

The Senegal international was looking to leave the Hammers after a difficult 2016/17 campaign, which saw him make just eight appearances across all competitions due to a series of injuries.

Sakho even completed a medical at Roazhon Park in the hope of securing a move away from the London Stadium, but the capital club refused to sanction a deal.

The 27-year-old striker has put that disappointment behind him by refocusing his efforts on the east London outfit, and Bilic is impressed with his early-season form.

Sakho has yet to start a Premier League game this term, but came off the bench to score an important winner against Swansea last weekend - his sixth outing as a substitute.

"Sakho, there have been stories about him in the transfer window and all that, but he stayed and he's balanced his head here," the Croatian coach told club's official website.

"He is training good and that's why he is playing in most of the games because he looks good and sharp in training. That's why he came on, on Saturday, and he did his job. That's why he's in my plans.

"I spoke to him a couple of times but it's more about him. His problem was that the whole of last season, he was out and he was injured and had problems and an operation.

"Now he feels fit and he is training better and more regularly and, because he is training better, I am using him and that is balancing his head.

"We didn't want to let him go. He had a couple of talks with the chairman and with me and it all helped, but it was mostly him because if the person doesn't want to do it, you can't make it good enough to play the game. It was him who wanted to be here, for him and for us."

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