Diafra Sakho
Sakho has not played since last season. Getty


  • Senegal international has not played for the Hammers this season.
  • Andy Carroll likely to return to full training in a couple of weeks.

West Ham United have confirmed Diafra Sakho is in contention for Saturday's (19 November) London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.

Sakho almost left the Hammers to join West Brom during the summer transfer window, but a back injury scuppered his move to the Midlands. That same injury has prevented the Senegal international from making a single appearance for Slaven Bilic's side this term, but the striker has been making steady progress in recent weeks, having returned to first-team training prior to the international break.

West Ham have struggled in the absence of a consistent goal threat up front and while Bilic is wary of putting pressure on the returning striker, he is hopeful he can replicate Aaron Creswell's instant impact upon return from a lengthy injury.

"We are delighted that he is back," Bilic wrote in his Simply Slaven column. "We have been missing him since the start of pre-season so it has been a very long period, but he is back now. He started doing rehabilitation treatment, then he did individual training on the pitch and then he spent a week with the Under-23s.

"He has been training with us since the Stoke game and looks good. He might need a few games to find his top form but some hit it straight away, like Aaron Cresswell did when he came back.

"We rate Diafra very highly because he gives you something different. He runs deep and is really good at running behind the defences and opens the spaces for other players to run into that zone. It is a big boost for us to have him back."

Like Sakho, Andy Carroll is yet to feature in the Premier League this season, having suffering a knee injury against Astra Giurgiu in a June Europa League clash. But the former Liverpool striker is another who is edging his way closer to a full return.

Bilic said: "Andy is progressing really well and maybe in a couple of weeks he will be able to train with us – it might even be earlier. It looks very good and if he continues to progress then I am expecting to have him back soon."