Date: 4th September 2019 at 10:30am
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OPINION

Michail Antonio’s injury blow might not only have an impact on West Ham as the attacker’s long spell on the sidelines could lead to Manuel Pellegrini recalling Grady Diangana from his loan spell at West Brom in the Championship.

According to Claret & Hugh, Antonio, 29, suffered a grade three hamstring tear in the Hammers’ win against Newport County in the Carabao Cup last week and will have to undergo surgery.

It means that the former Nottingham Forest winger could be out of action until February, with a potential return against Manchester City on February 8.

West Ham do have the option to recall Diangana, 21, from West Brom once the January transfer window opens and if there is maybe one or two more injury issues, there is a strong chance that the Irons will consider getting the in-form winger back from The Hawthorns.

Pellegrini’s side could play six games between the start of January and that trip to Man City, and if the Chilean is short of options on the wing then there’s every chance that recalling Diangana from the Black Country could be on his mind at that point.

Claret & Hugh have reported that West Ham do have the option to terminate the 21-year-old’s loan deal in the winter and based on his recent form in the Championship, it is bound to be considered.

Diangana has been called up to the England Under-21s squad for the first time in his career after kickstarting his West Brom career with three goals in four league appearances.

According to stats by WhoScored, Diangana has averaged two shots at goal, 1.5 key passes and1.5 dribbles in the league for the Baggies and has also completed 84.9 per cent of his passes.

No other player in Slaven Bilic’s squad has been as good dribbling the ball as Diangana this term and there are definitely solid grounds for Albion fans to compare the West Ham loanee to Harvey Barnes, who was in amazing form in the first half of last season before being recalled by Leicester in January.

For West Brom’s sake, they will hope it does not come to that but this news about Antonio is something that might play on the mind of Bilic and Luke Dowling up until the recall deadline passes.