Very few West Ham United players emerged from the dismal defeat to Everton with any credit.

Lukasz Fabianski, Declan Rice and perhaps Angelo Ogbonna could look themselves in the mirror after the game.

Second half substitute Grady Diangana was certainly no worse than the majority of his teammates.

And as a young homegrown player he deserves a lot of slack.

But his dreadful cameo served to highlight the rather peculiar situation Diangana finds himself in.

Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Can Diangana make the Grady?

The winger turns 21 this month. But he has regressed since his shock emergence under Manuel Pellegrini earlier this season.

Of course young players go through peaks and troughs.

And there is nothing to suggest West Ham fans will give Diangana anything less than their full backing to prove he has what it takes to make it at the top level.

But a series of poor performances have called Pellegrini’s judgement into question.

West Ham took the strange decision to hand Diangana a six-year deal back in January after just a handful of first team games (

Photo by Clive Rose Getty Images

Six-year deal looking peculiar

Not two, not three or four, or even five – the standard for even the most accomplished players – but six years.


On this evidence, though, the harsh reality is Diangana will be lucky to still be in and around West Ham’s first team in six months.

That came after the club dragged its heels for months to hand relative veteran Declan Rice a payrise.

Pellegrini compared Diangana to Santi Carzola (Evening Standard).

And when the young attacker signed the new contract the Chilean was delighted.

Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Ball is firmly in Diangana’s court

“He has made great progress since the beginning of the season and deserves the opportunity he has been given,” Pellegrini told at the time.

“As I have said previously, I have trust in Grady because he is a clever, intelligent player who always has a good solution with the ball. Like Declan Rice, he is still a young player with many years of football ahead of him and still much to learn about the game.

“However, if he keeps working hard and showing the dedication and willingness to learn that I have seen this season, then he can have a very successful career.”

Everyone at West Ham is hoping that will be the case. And Diangana will be given time.

But the ball is now firmly in the youngster’s court to really make his mark before the end of the season.

He must ensure he becomes the next Rice and not the new Freddie Sears or Zavon Hines.

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