Sakho 'can have a big impact for' West Ham – Pablo Zabaleta

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The defender is upbeat that the Senegal international can make a huge contribution for the Hammers after a failed summer move

West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta is confident that Diafra Sakho 'can have a great impact' for the club this season.

Sakho's plan to leave the London Stadium outfit to French side Rennes last summer could not work out, even after undergoing medicals.

And the Senegal international appears to have put the episode behind him after contributing three goals to several impressive showings this term.

The Argentine has praised the 27-year-old for giving his best each time he gets the nod to play, despite being afforded limited game time by Slaven Bilic.

“Diafra can have a big impact for us because he’s a great player, but it is all about confidence,” Zabaleta told club website.

“He’s not been playing much in the Premier League aside from coming on for a few minutes, and his only starts have been in the Carabao Cup.

“This is what you expect from players like this who, even if they are not starting the games, they come on and give 100 per cent, even if it is only for ten minutes. He did that against Swansea, so I’m very pleased for him.

“Personally, I always try to understand player’s situations. I’m a new player here and I don’t know Diaf’s situation from last season or three or two seasons ago or whenever but, when the transfer window closed, Diaf was a West Ham player and he has given everything because he is important for this Club and is a great player.

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“He has done a fantastic job for this Club, so he needs to fight for a place, show the manager he is worthy of a place in the team and that’s it," he concluded.

Diafra Sakho was on song during the international break as his goal led Senegal to a 2-0 victory over Cape Verde, to boost their chances of qualifying for Russia 2018 World Cup.

And he will be hoping to get himself a first English Premier League start when West Ham visit Burnley in their next English Premier League fixture on October 14.

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