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Celtic: Hoops hit the jackpot on Grady Diangana

Back in the summer of 2020, Neil Lennon’s Celtic scouts were reported to have been incredibly impressed by the form of Grady Diangana, who had lit up the Championship during a season-long loan spell with West Bromwich Albion.

Indeed, over his 30 second-tier appearances in 2019/20, the West Ham United winger played an influential role in the Baggies’ promotion back to the Premier League, scoring eight goals, registering six assists and creating eight big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.6 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.

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These returns saw the former England U21 international average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.06, ranking him as Albion’s third-best player in the league that year.

And, as a result of this form, the likes of Celtic, Ajax, Newcastle United and Everton were all reported to be interested in the 23-year-old, for whom West Ham were demanding a fee in the region of £15m-£20m in order to part with.

However, it would ultimately be West Brom who went on to secure the forward on a permanent basis, with Slaven Bilic’s side coughing up around £18m in order to prise the youngster away from the London Stadium.

Although, while Diangana’s switch to The Hawthorns would undoubtedly have come as a gutting blow to Celtic at the time, nearly two years down the line, it is becoming apparent that the Baggies massively overpaid for the winger.

Indeed, over his 20 Premier League appearances in 2020/21, the £7.2m-rated forward failed to make any real mark on the top flight, scoring one goal, registering no assists and creating no big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of just 0.7 shots and making 0.3 key passes per game.

These returns saw the player who Lee Hendrie dubbed a “magnificent” talent who’s “easy on the eye” average an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.47, ranking him as Albion’s joint second-worst player in the division.

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Things have not improved much for the £25k-per-week attacker over his 35 Championship outings this season, with the 23-year-old having scored two goals, provided one assist and created three big chances, with these metrics seeing the winger average a SofaScore match rating of 6.67 – ranking him as Steve Bruce’s joint eighth-worst performer in the second tier.

As such, it is clear to see that Celtic hit the jackpot when missing out on the £18m signing of a player who Adrian Goldberg labelled “desperate” and claimed looks “like a youth player playing in a men’s game” back in 2020 – as Diangana’s form has fallen off a cliff since his permanent move to West Brom.

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Article title: Celtic: Hoops hit the jackpot on Grady Diangana

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