Many avid West Ham fans will be hoping the Hammers do not come down with the Christmas decorations like last season where we were fourth on Christmas day under the guidance of a certain Sam Allardyce.
Despite the recent inconsistency, we seem to be content with the way Slaven Bilic has got the players performing, resulting in the us sitting comfortably in a respectable eight position in the Premier League table.
However, many fear the downward spiral could come sooner as the festive fixtures approach, with the forward line looking weaker. Sakho’s injury lay off is bad news considering the amount of games that West Ham are due to play.
Nevertheless, Argentine striker Mauro Zarate is now a rejuvenated player and is enjoying his football again. So, is the former Inter Milan and Lazio attacker the answer?
Considering Andy Carroll and summer recruit Nikica Jelavic are failing to produce the goals, Zarate has at least shown them how it should be done, with last week’s sublime 25-yard free-kick against West Brom, making him the joint second highest top scorer at the club this season with five goals in all competitions, along with fellow countryman Manuel Lanzini.
Despite being used in various positions, whether it’s as a striker, behind the frontman or being occupied on either flank, the 28-year-old has always shown he has a great work ethic, creative flair and fantastic technical ability, making many opposition worried (just ask any Arsenal fan on the opening day of the season!).
The winning goal against London rivals Chelsea to make it 2-1 has been the only highlight for Carroll. Apart from that, the former Liverpool and Newcastle United target man has been non-existent and is failing to convince anyone he is fully fit after a number of injury lay-offs.
Meanwhile, Jelavic has failed to warrant a start in claret and blue since his £3m move from Hull City and is probably the most ‘bit part player’ than anyone in any other English top flight side.
This may also give £7m addition Michail Antonio a good run of games, considering last season saw him top the charts for the most amount of successful dribbles in the Championship with Nottingham Forest.
However, the former Reading and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder will not be picked to play in the centre forward role, although he could do a better job than Carroll and Jelavic.
This brings us back to our original question, can Zarate temporarily replace Sakho? With his immense energy and vast improvement on last season, which was ridiculed by Allardyce and resulted in an unsuccessful loan spell with QPR, then Zarate can definitely do a decent job as a striker.