Manuel Pellegrini has kept 20-year-old talent Grady Diangana amongst the first-team squad after being impressed by the midfielder, Football.London reports.
West Ham’s slow start to the season now seems to be a million light years away, with the Hammers flying high following a huge upturn in form that has seen Manuel Pellegrini’s side enjoy a four-game unbeaten run.
One of their highlights in recent weeks came in the EFL Cup drubbing of Macclesfield, where the East London side stormed to an 8-0 victory in a match that saw academy graduate Grady Diangana net a brace on his first-team debut, before then making his Premier League bow in the 3-1 victory over Manchester United.
His stay in the first-team has not come to a close though as Football.London reports he has remained with the squad this season ahead of Friday’s clash with Brighton rather than being sent back to the U23 squad.
Having been with the club since the age of 12, Diangana is the definition of a homegrown hero for the Hammers and has become an instant hit with the fans, following in the footsteps of fellow academy graduate Declan Rice.
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Regular first-team action may be difficult to come by when competing with the likes of Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic and Andriy Yarmolenko but the 20-year-old has already provided evidence that he is capable of mixing with the big boys.
Keeping Diangana in the first-team squad is a good choice from Pellegrini, particularly amidst the uncertain future of Michail Antonio, a player that the youngster could replace in the squad if necessary.