The Chalkboard: Diangana deserves West Ham chance

Grady Diangana deserves a chance to prove his worth to West Ham United when the Hammers take on Leicester City this weekend.

Scotland international Robert Snodgrass is suspended for the encounter, leaving a gap in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI.

On the chalkboard

The FA, for his conduct towards an anti-doping official, has suspended Snodgrass.

He has played in the Hammers’ last three games, including 90 minutes in the harsh 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.

Diangana, by comparison, has found first-team appearances hard to come by in recent weeks.

He came on as a substitute against United but was left out of the squad for the defeat to Chelsea, while he played 23 minutes versus Everton.

The fact of the matter however, is that Diangana is perhaps the most exciting youngster who isn’t named Declan Rice in east London.

Diangana is a 20-year-old right winger with searing pace and now is the perfect time to start blooding him in the first-team regularly.

West Ham are in no danger of relegation and are unlikely to finish seventh – there can be no harm, then, in allowing youth a chance, particularly as Snodgrass no longer stands in his way.

Succession planning

West Ham need to improve next season if they are to qualify for Europe, as seems to be the aim.

And the best way to do that is by bringing through the exciting young players currently playing for the Under-23s and the Under-18s.

Diangana is too good to be playing within those age groups and has shown flashes of the potential that has so whetted the appetite of many Hammers supporters.

There can be no excuse for not including him in the starting XI this weekend.

And it could even give the Irons’ hopes of success next season a boost, particularly if he plays his way into Pellegrini’s plans beyond Saturday.