How Diafra Sakho is the best value striker in the top flight

The Hammers hitman costs less per goal than Costa, Benteke or Pelle

Diego Costa may be the Premier League’s joint top goalscorer with 19 goals so far this season, but Diafra Sakho’s goals tally proves to be better value for money. Costa, who was a Champions League runner-up last season, joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in a deal worth £32m, while Sakho was not known to anyone in the Premier League. The striker joined the Hammers for an undisclosed fee – believed to be around £3m – and he has found the net on 10 occasions so far this season.

That is a better return than Graziano Pelle, Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku, who all joined their respective clubs for substantial fees. Sakho is also level on the scoring charts with Robin van Persie and Wilfried Bony, who only three months ago joined Manchester City for an initial £25m.

Saido Berahino and Harry Kane are the only two players in the top flight who have scored more goals than Sakho and have cost less. But that is because Berahino and Kane both came through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur respectively so they didn’t cost their clubs a penny.

Meanwhile, Charlie Austin and Papiss Cisse are the only other strikers who have scored more goals than Sakho who are not playing for a team currently in the top four. But Sakho has made less starts this season than Kane, Austin, Wayne Rooney, Berahino, Sergio Agüero and Costa and the Hammers forward averages nearly a goal a game, with 10 goals in 22 Premier League appearances.

Other than Costa, Sakho is also the only player in the Premier League’s top 10 goalscorers that are involved in their first ever campaign in English football, and so that makes the statistics all the more impressive. The Senegalese international has been an integral part of Sam Allardyce’s side this season, and he has been heavily involved in most of the Hammers’ attacking moves this season. He does not only score goals either. He has created numerous chances for the likes of Enner Valencia, Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan, and he also claimed two assists in his maiden Premier League season.

Ahead of our game against Stoke, Sakho had 65 shots on goal this season, meaning that he finds the back of the net every 6.5 shots. That’s a better conversion rate than Agüero (6.8) and Queens Park Rangers’ Austin (6.7), who was linked with a call-up to the England international team last month. So, it is clear that Sakho has had a fruitful season. Finally, Sakho also holds the record for the most goals in consecutive games this season.

In scoring against the current Premier League champions Manchester City in October, Sakho found the back of the net for the sixth game in a row. He became the first West Ham player ever to do this since the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, and he also matched Mickey Quinn’s Premier League record. No other striker has done the same this season and so the Hammers’ no.15 holds the longest goalscoring streak this season. He also became the first Hammer to score in his first four starts for the club, when he nodded home in the defeat to Manchester United earlier this season. One thing is for sure: Allardyce certainly got value for money and Sakho is likely to put a chance away if presented to him.

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