West Ham United winger Grady Diangana hasn’t had much of a sniff in recent months, but Saturday’s clash with Leicester City represents the perfect opportunity to reintroduce him to the starting line up.
That’s because manager Manuel Pellegrini is already set to have to cope with the absences of two attacking midfielders in Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri. A report from reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh on Wednesday revealed that both playmakers have been ruled out of the game at the London Stadium.
That leaves a a vacancy in the Hammers midfield, probably on the right flank opposite Felipe Anderson. Diangana would be the perfect choice to replace Lanzini in the starting line up.
The 20-year-old youngster is a tremendous talent and now is the time to increase his exposure to first team football. The Hammers realistically have nothing left to play for this season, meaning that blooding the youngsters should be a priority for Pellegrini.
So while veterans like Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio will also be candidates to replace Lanzini, especially now that Nasri is also out, it would be more prudent to take a punt on the youngster.
The two aforementioned players have relatively uncertain futures in east London, whereas Diangana is on a long term contract and is expected to be a first team fixture for many years to come. Why not prioritise his development at this point of the campaign?
It’s not like this is a young player who hasn’t proved he’s ready for Premier League football. Diangana hasn’t looked out of place whenever he’s featured this term, instead often causing veteran full backs real problems with his pace and direct running.
His selection would give Pellegrini’s team a jolt of life on Saturday. The Chilean must be brave and look to the future. Diangana has to start.