This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
There has been plenty of debate about whether West Ham United should recall Grady Diangana from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion, with FFC writers divided on this topic.
The indication seems to be that he will be staying at the Hawthorns until this season’s culmination, with Manuel Pellegrini quoted by the club’s official channels as saying: “I trust a lot in Grady, and I thought that it was better for him to go and play 40 games this year, and be absolutely ready for next season, than play here just some of the games.
“I think that we must continue supporting him, we must continue being happy with his performances, and he must finish his season where he is.”
There is definitely a point to be made that Diangana can benefit from playing at West Brom, having scored 4 goals and assisted another 4 in 11 Championship starts and 3 substitute appearances.
However, it can also be suggested that the 21-year-old could benefit from being at London Stadium and working on forcing his way into the side now, while the Hammers could also use him.
With this in mind, West Ham should look towards a frustrating moment for the Baggies last season, when Harvey Barnes was recalled by Leicester City in January 2019.
Having started 26 games, scoring 9 goals and assisting 6 more, then-Leicester manager Cluade Puel decided to bring him back to the King Power Stadium, and was quoted on Sky Sports as saying: “He has been brought back for many reasons but the primary reason is because he can help us.
“The player has progressed, and I would like to thank West Bromwich and their manager for giving him the opportunities to play.
“It is difficult [for West Brom] to lose a player like this but it is a good moment for him to come back and help his team-mates.”
In the latter half of that campaign, Barnes started 11 Premier League games and was brought off the bench on 5 occasions, scoring 1 goal and getting 2 assists.
While Diangana may not play every game this season, with Felipe Anderson as competition, he can help the team, as Puel suggested Barnes could, while the 21-year-old Leicester man has highlighted that the step up from the Championship can be made.
One of the Hammers’ biggest problems this season has been the isolation of Sebastien Haller, as Tony Cottee told FFC: “I think at times he’s been a little bit isolated up front, so he could do with a little bit of help.”
Surely having someone join the squad who has eight goal contributions would be able to help that situation, whether from the bench or from the start.
It would be a bold move for Pellegrini to recall Diangana, but Barnes has shown that it’s a decision that could pay off.