The likes of Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals and Jack Wilshere have all underperformed this season, meaning that club record signing Sebastien Haller has often been left isolated in recent weeks.
However, the Hammers may have struck gold with their reported plan for the January transfer window. Football Insider reported on Friday that Manuel Pellegrini is plotting to recall winger Grady Diangana from his loan spell with Championship side West Bromwich Albion and send youngster Nathan Holland there on a temporary basis instead.
It’s a terrific swap deal that would suit all parties, although how West Brom would feel about losing Diangana we don’t know – presumably not very happy.
However, West Ham have a clause in Diangana’s contract allowing them to recall him in the first two weeks of the January transfer window, meaning the Baggies may well lose him whether they like it or not. So they might as well take Holland and get something in return.
For Pellegrini, though, doing this deal could end up being a stroke of genius. Not only would he have a game-changing player back in his ranks to solve a major creativity issue, but one of his young stars would have the chance to develop with regular first team football at second tier level.
There’s no doubt that the Irons need Diangana. The statistics demonstrate just how dominant he has been on loan at Slaven Bilic’s side so far this campaign.
As per WhoScored.com, the 21-year-old has scored four times and bagged three assists in just nine starts. Meanwhile, he is averaging 1.7 shots and 1.8 key passes per game, to go along with 2.6 dribbles and being fouled 1.2 times per outing.
Pellegrini would dearly love to have that kind of direct running and goal threat from midfield, which the likes of Lanzini and Anderson have failed to provide.
So, for West Ham, this January swap deal is a no-brainer. If they can get it over the line smoothly then happy days, because this could transform their season.