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West Ham: Bilic finds striker solution; trio’s injury return; Mayor launches stadium probe

With a striker identified as a top priority in the summer transfer window, it has been a disastrous start to the season for the Hammers with Andre Ayew out injured and Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri failing to live up to expectations. According to the Express, Slaven Bilic is now prepared to give Diafra Sakho a second chance at the club after he came so close to leaving for West Brom in the summer before failing a medical.

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The back injury that saw him fail the medical has continued to keep him out, with a short appearance against Chelsea in the EFL Cup his only game time this season to date. Since requesting a move away, Bilic has changed his mind and now believes that Sakho may be the man to lead the line as he is a proven goalscorer, and will be given the chance to do just that after the international break when he returns from injury.

The first game after the international break will be a visit to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby, and Bilic will have a number of his first team stars available to him who have been out through injuries. Sakho will be one of those, alongside Andy Carroll, who has been out since the start of the season with a mysterious knee problem, and left back Arthur Masuaku.

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Masuaku may find it hard to get back into the starting line-up with Aaron Cresswell having returned to action and proven himself, but Carroll and Sakho are both expected to go straight into contention for a place in the starting line-up, alongside Andre Ayew who will have built up enough fitness to compete for a start after a number of substitute appearances over the past fortnight.

Off the field, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has ordered a probe into the financial situation at the London Stadium, after costs to the taxpayer rose from £272 million  to £323 million in just months since the Hammers moved in to their new home. Deputy mayor Jules Pipe told Sky News:

“Last year the previous administration told the public that the costs had risen in total to around £270m. The new Mayor has now been told that cost will be over £320m. Understandably Sadiq has ordered an investigation as to why those two figures are so wildly different.  As the new administration at City Hall clearing up the mess of the previous administration, we need to make sure that the stadium runs on a sustainable basis and it is affordable to London.”

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The costs increases are largely believed to be down to maintenance costs rising, a price increase in the non-permanent seating and stewarding costs after a number of issues with fan violence in the opening weeks of life at their new home.

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