Whatever happened to Diego Poyet? Once tipped for stardom, his career seems to have come to a standstill in recent years.

West Ham beat a number of teams, including Arsenal, to capture Poyet for a compensation fee after he left Charlton Athletic.

That was back in summer 2014, when Poyet was still a teenager.

Back then, an 18-year-old Poyet made his Addicks debut and went on to win their Player of the Year accolade.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 01: Charlton Athletic’s Diego Poyet during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Charlton Athletic at The King Power Stadium on March 01, 2014 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Tim Keeton/Getty Images)

The former England under-17 international was even tipped by The Daily Mail as one of 15 young English players to watch out for in the future.

The Mail described Poyet as “a midfielder who has represented England and has good technique. Has potential and also been watched by Arsenal. Has an intelligent father in Brighton manager Gus to keep him progressing.”

So, how come he never hit the heights expected of him at West Ham? We investigate…

West Ham struggles

West Ham signed Poyet for a compensation agreement under Sam Allardyce, with many tipping him to go straight into the first-team squad.

In August, the Spain-born midfielder made his debut against Crystal Palace as a late substitute. A few days later, he played 120 minutes in the EFL Cup and scored a penalty in the shoot-out.

But he would only go on to play a further three games that season in a frustrating spell.

Allardyce was sacked at the end of that season and in came Slaven Bilic, who immediately handed the young midfielder some opportunities in the Europa League. He again scored in a penalty shoot-out.

MOSTA, MALTA – JULY 23: Diego Poyet scores the winning penalty for West Ham United at Ta’Qali National Stadium on July 23, 2015 in Mosta, Malta. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

But his five outings in Europe proved to be the only games he played that season. He never played again for West Ham.

Various loan spells

Poyet had three loan spells away from West Ham during his time in East London.

Firstly, he went to Huddersfield Town for a month in 2014, playing two games. Then, he played 20 games for Milton Keynes Dons in the Championship.

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: Diego Poyet of MK Dons during the Capital One Cup third round match between MK Dons and Southampton at Stadium mk on September 23, 2015 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

His final loan spell was back at Charlton, where he played seven times for the South London side.

Upon his return to West Ham in summer 2016, his contract was terminated by mutual consent.


South American adventure

After leaving West Ham, Poyet was an attractive prospect for a number of clubs.

Derby County eyed up a free transfer but Poyet opted for a different career route.

A Uruguay under-20 international, he decided to move to South America, where he joined Godoy Cruz to get his career back on track.

But he was on the receiving end of some ill-fortune in Argentina, as a rule preventing too many foreign players restricted his playing time.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Poyet describes this difficult time: “In Argentina you can only have four foreigners at a time for each season.

“The club I signed for already had four players but a Uruguayan striker was set to leave the day after I arrived. He was their star striker but he went to do his medical and failed.”

After admitting to struggling on and off the field, Poyet decided to move back to Europe, but did not make a conventional move.


Poyet joined Paphos, who play in Cyprus, to resurrect his career.

Playing under former Coventry City manager Steven Pressley, Poyet enjoyed a successful year for Paphos.

What next?

Poyet is once again a free agent and he recently checked in on Twitter to say he was back in London.

It seems another move could be on the cards, soon, but can the 23-year-old get his career back on track in England?

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