While the top Premiership sides were splashing the cash in the summer transfer window, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was carefully strengthening his squad on a limited budget.
Diafra Sakho is not yet a household name but he is already a hit with West Ham supporters after firing his sixth goal in as many games in the 3-1 win at Burnley. Allardyce was quick to acknowledge that Sakho has proved a real bargain having cost £3.5million from the French side Metz.
The 24-year-old Senegal International signed a four-year-deal in August and expressed his delight at being given the opportunity to play in the English Premier League. He made his debut as a substitute in a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace and scored his first goal for his new club against Sheffield United in the League Cup.
Sakho then scored his first Premier League goal in a 2?2 draw at Hull before making his home debut against Liverpool in September. He delighted the Upton Park crowd with a perfectly executed chip over Simon Mignolet as the Hammers won 3?1.
Sakho scored the only goal for his team in an unlucky 2-1 defeat at Manchester United to set a new club record of scoring in each of his first full starts for the Hammers. Goals against QPR and at Burnley have now extended that sequence to six and West Ham have risen to fourth place in the Premier League. He has also equalled the club record set by Carlton Cole in 2009 of scoring in five consecutive Premier League games.
Sakho was the seventh player brought in by Allardyce in the summer. Enner Valencia, Alex Song and Aaron Cresswell have also impressed but it is the goal scoring habit of Sakho that is stealing the limelight. He scored 44 goals in 114 games for Metz in the lower French leagues and it is a little surprising that he seems to have slipped under the radar of other Premiership clubs.
He scored 19 goals in the 2012-13 season and one more the following year when he was voted the Ligue 2 Player of the Year. Allardyce intensified his search for a striker following the injury to England International Andy Carroll. The Hammers were originally linked with Sunderland striker Connor Wickham but apparently baulked at the asking price of £8million.
It appears that they have landed one of the true bargain buys of the summer. Sakho will be a marked man when he attempts to extend his remarkable goal scoring sequence to seven at home to Premiership champions Manchester City on Saturday.