West Ham United’s vexing decision to sell Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion this summer is being proven right by the winger’s lacklustre form under Slaven Bilic.
The Irons caused uproar during the off-season when it was announced that Diangana was being sold to the Baggies for just £12million, rising to a potential Hawthorns record £18m through add-ons, following his standout campaign with the West Midlands outfit last term.
Diangana offered eight goals and seven assists in 30 Championship appearances during a one-year loan, only blighted by a hamstring injury that prevented his involvement over the festive period and kept the 22-year-old on the sidelines until the restart in June.
West Ham captain Mark Noble led the charge of angry supporters reacting to the east London outfit’s decision to sell Diangana, stating in a post on Twitter how the academy graduate’s exit had left him “gutted, angry and sad”.
“As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!” he wrote.
Diangana was nothing but grateful for what West Ham had done for him during his 12-years with the London Stadium natives, having enjoyed 61 outings for the Irons’ Under 23s and breaking into the senior fold to make 21 appearances.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone at West Ham who have helped me to develop and become the player and person I am today, since the age of 10,” he noted in a statement on Instagram. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be able to represent such a great club! Thank you to the fans for supporting me along the way, you will always have a special place in my heart.”
But while supporters were so angered by West Ham’s decision to sell Diangana this summer, his performances in the Premier League under Bilic this term are only serving to prove the Irons were right to free up cash in the former England U21 international that could be put toward improving David Moyes’ squad.
In the latest of his nine league games this season, Diangana cut a disillusioned figure against Manchester United before being hauled off in the 62nd-minute having failed to score or assist a goal for the seventh match in a row.
Diangana penned his only goal of the term on matchday two in defeat to Everton, is yet to assist a goal in any competition and failed to come close at Old Trafford on Saturday, where he failed to register a single shot on target, key ball or attempted cross, per SofaScore.
He further lost four of nine ground duels, two of three aerial duels, turned over possession 10 times, was caught offside once and committed one foul on route to a 6.6 match rating – a score he has not bettered since earning a 6.9 in October’s 2-0 loss at Southampton.
The future may still be bright for Diangana, but West Ham cannot afford to wait with the move to the London Stadium continually slammed for failing to bring much reason for supporters to cheer.