Transfer Opinion: Hammers must convince prospect his future lies in London

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With the summer transfer window set to open on Monday, there will be no rest for the Hammers hierarchy and manager David Moyes this summer. One potential issue which appears to be on the horizon is Grady Diangana’s return to the London Stadium after a highly successful loan spell with West Bromwich Albion in the Championship. The 22-year-old winger helped the Baggies return to the top-flight via automatic promotion, but it has been suggested he believes it is vital for his development to play regularly.

Moyes must promise the Englishman he will occupy a significant role at the London Stadium next season or risk attracting more interest, as Celtic, Ajax, Everton and Newcastle have been linked with Diangana.

This term in the second tier Diangana scored eight goals in 23 starts for West Brom, a highly impressive return from out wide, behind only Charlie Austin and Hal Robson-Kanu, both on ten strikes. Furthermore, the on-loan West Ham winger, assisted six goals for Slaven Bilic’s side, meaning only Matheus Pereira had more goal contributions, 24, than Diangana’s 14.

The 22-year-old has certainly impressed in the Championship, and the Irons academy graduate’s excellent performances suggest he may be ready to make the transition to the Premier League, where he has previously registered 17 appearances. However, 11 of those came off the bench and given it has been reported Diangana believes regular football is vital for his development, he may want assurances he will start more frequently this time around.

Only Championship assist leader Pereira has recorded more key passes per match for West Brom than Diangana’s 1.4, while the winger also took on 1.6 shots per game, highlighting how he is not merely a box of tricks. He’s also most frequently featured on the left side of midfield for the Baggies, 20 appearances, where Pablo Fornals has recently been deployed for the Hammers, even though he is not a natural wide man, meaning Diangana could slot in seamlessly.

To lose the highly-rated academy graduate for £15m-£20m would be a real shame for the Irons, especially considering the only academy graduates in the current side are captain Mark Noble, Declan Rice – who has been the subject of interest from Chelsea – and Ben Johnson. It is now up to Moyes to convince Diangana he will regularly feature to keep the winger at the London Stadium.

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