Why West Ham should consider recalling Grady Diangana from loan
West Ham responded strongly after suffering a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City on the opening day with victories over Watford, Norwich City and Manchester United, but the East Londoners have failed to win any of their last five Premier League fixtures.
The 3-2 defeat against Newcastle last weekend evoked widespread criticism, which showed the need for Diangana to be recalled and slotted straight into Manuel Pellegrini’s playing XI in the Premier League.
Diangana made his senior professional bow for the Hammers in an 8-0 rout of Macclesfield Town in the EFL Cup last season and went on to feature in the Premier League on 17 occasions before being shipped out on loan to West Brom this summer.
A temporary move to the Championship, and arguably to one of the strongest promotion contenders, definitely made a lot of sense, given that Diangana wasn’t expected to play a regular starting role for West Ham in the Premier League.
Hence, it wasn’t a big surprise when the Hammers opted to loan him out in order to allow him to further his development with regular minutes in the second-tier. If the 21-year-old’s performances so far are anything to go by, it has to be said that Diangana’s loan spell at West Brom has paid off handsomely.
Diangana has made excellent progress under the tutelage of Slaven Bilic and has already accumulated a tally of 4 goals and 4 assists in 13 appearances in the Championship.
The 21-year-old has been one of the key driving forces behind the Baggies’ strong start to the campaign and his impressive run of form has provided Manuel Pellegrini with some food for thought.
As per Whoscored, Diangana boasts of a pass success rate of 80.8% in the Championship this term, including 1.8 key passes, 2.4 dribbles and 1.2 tackles per game, figures which speak volumes of his dribbling skills, as well as his direct and aggressive nature as a winger.
To put things into perspective, Grady Diangana has already made big strides in the second-tier in the first quarter of the campaign and there is no reason why West Ham shouldn’t recall him in January if he continues to churn out impressive displays on a consistent basis.
Felipe Anderson was expected to kick on and propel West Ham to greater heights after a promising first season at the club, but the Brazilian has failed to find the net even once in 10 league appearances this term.
Andriy Yarmolenko has scored thrice but his lack of consistency has been a big problem, while new recruit Pablo Fornals has been miserable, to say the least.
Michail Antonio could have made a big difference with his pace, drive and directness and while Robert Snodgrass has come in and scored twice in the last couple of games, one does get the feeling that someone like Grady Diangana would add that much-needed X-Factor and unpredictability to West Ham’s attack.
Anderson and Yarmolenko are good creative players but neither of them has that extra yard of pace to rip defences apart, something that Diangana would offer if he returns from his loan spell.
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The 21-year-old might not start regularly if he returns from his loan spell but it is clear from his involvement in the previous campaign that Pellegrini certainly rates him as a player.
To that end, Diangana’s return to East London midway through the campaign could prove to be an inspiring move and a step in the right direction.