Hammers seal Sakho signing

West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of striker Diafra Sakho from FC Metz on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old, who has spent his entire professional career with the French club, has scored 43 goals in the last two seasons, helping Metz to achieve back-to-back promotions to Ligue 1.

Quick, strong and an outstanding athlete, Sakho was voted Ligue 2 Player of the Year for 2013/14, when his 20 goals helped Les Grenats - The Maroons - win the title by eleven points.

Upon becoming the Hammers' seventh summer signing, Sakho told West Ham TV: "This is a proud day to have signed for West Ham, I really love English football and I've dreamed of coming to play for one of the big English clubs. Today, West Ham have given me that opportunity and I didn't hesitate to grab it.

"I'm looking forward to playing. It's more than a month now that I've been training for this and right now I think I'd be ready to pull on the Club colours.

"I've come here to continue as I was at Metz. I'm going to give it my all, going flat out on the pitch and I think the fans will appreciate that."

Born in the suburb of Guediawaye in Senegal's capital Dakar, Sakho grew up in neighbouring Guinea-Bissau before returning to his homeland in 2003.

He joined local club Medina, where he was scouted and invited to attend the Generation Foot Academy, which was set up by Metz in 2000 as a means of developing and providing an education to young footballers in the West African country.

Sakho spent just six months at Generation Foot, which also produced Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse, before moving to France at the age of 17 in 2007, when he started training with Metz.

Two-and-a-half years later, the forward made his first-team debut in a goalless Ligue 2 draw at home to Brest on 19 January 2010. His maiden senior goal arrived eight months later on 10 September in a 1-1 home draw with Nantes.

After featuring mainly as a substitute in his first three seasons as a professional and being loaned to Ligue 2 club Boulogne in January 2012, Sakho made his breakthrough following Metz's relegation to the Championnat National - Division Three - in May of the same year.

Handed a regular starting place by new manager Albert Cartier, the African smashed in 19 goals in 33 league appearances to fire Metz to second place and promotion back to Ligue 2 at the first attempt.

Last season, Sakho continued his rise to prominence by banging in 20 goals in 36 appearances as Metz romped to the Ligue 2 title.

The striker's outstanding form saw him handed a senior international debut by Senegal in a friendly meeting with Burkina Faso on 21 May 2014. Four days later, he netted his first goal for his country in a 3-1 win over Kosovo.