West Ham United winger Grady Diangana has told the London Evening Standard that he is beginning to link up well with Felipe Anderson, which suggests that the youngster could be the club’s long-term replacement for injured Andriy Yarmolenko.
The Hammers were dealt a blow when their summer signing was ruled out in October for around six months with an Achilles injury.
Robert Snodgrass was a candidate to step in, but manager Manuel Pellegrini opted to put faith in youngster Diangana, who is a product of the academy.
The 20-year-old has featured in three Premier League matches since Yarmolenko was struck down, and in that time has created one assist.
Diangana played 86 minutes of the Hammers’ 4-2 victory over Burnley, and has since praised his link-up with Felipe Anderson.
He told the London Evening Standard:
“It’s quite exciting to be in a team which creates so many chances — and especially for an attacker to play with Felipe and Marko Arnautovic. I’ve started to get a good understanding with Felipe and he’s always giving me advice as well, because we’re the same type of player.”
Given the length of Yarmolenko’s injury lay-off, it would make sense to recruit a signing in January to act as cover.
However, judging from Diangana’s remarks, he intends to stay in the team long-term, which means that he could remain a regular option.
If the Hammers did have plans to bring in a new player, they may want to reassess them given the positive displays that the 5ft 11in attacker has been putting in.
This decision would benefit the owners, who would not have to dip into their pockets to buy someone new.
Perhaps things will change once the winter window rolls around, but at the moment it seems that Diangana is the best man for the job.