Opinion: Why returning star will be like a transfer coup for West Ham

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West Ham supporters will be hoping David Moyes continues to spend more diligently than his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini, who was at the helm when the Hammers broke their transfer record in consecutive summers.

First Felipe Anderson arrived for £34.2m, then 12 months later Sebastien Haller for £45m after swapping Frankfurt for London. Although, neither deal has gone precisely to plan, with the Brazilian firing in just one goal this term, while Haller notched less than half the 15 Bundesliga strikes he recorded in 2018/19.

During his first transfer window of his second spell at the London Stadium, Moyes recruited incredibly intelligently, bringing in Jarrod Bowen from Hull City and the Czech Republic international Tomas Soucek. The duo scored and assisted four goals together en route to the Hammers’ survival, but one of the biggest coups Moyes could make this summer will be keeping hold of Grady Diangana.

The winger spent last season on loan with West Bromwich Albion in the Championship, where he scored eight times for the Baggies in 30 matches on their way to automatic promotion. Although, the Englishman has reportedly been the subject of interest from both Dutch and Scottish champions Ajax and Celtic. But West Ham must ensure the 22-year-old remains in East London as his return from loan will be like a new signing arriving.

Diangana’s big breakthrough in the second-tier last term saw the winger notch six assists and start 23 matches, considerably more than the six he started at the London Stadium the season prior. His performances were also rewarded with three man of the match awards, the third most of any West Brom player, highlighting how important he was to Slaven Bilic’s side.

By returning to East London, Diangana will be making Moyes’ squad stronger, especially if Anderson and Manuel Lanzini depart this summer, as has been touted. With the addition of the 22-year-old Moyes will not only be decreasing the average age of the squad but welcoming back a young English prospect who has gained some valuable experience in the Championship.

After the departures of Jeremy Ngakia and Benicio Baker-Boaitey, Hammers fans will not want to see another academy graduate depart before fulfilling his potential with West Ham. Moyes must ensure that Diangana follows in Declan Rice’s footsteps rather than either departed teenager.

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