West Ham midfielder Grady Diangana has been left out of the latest England U21 squad. Even after the latest squad update, the silky playmaker did not make the cut for Aidy Boothroyd’s men.
This seems an unusual decision given his recent form while on loan at West Bromwich Albion. Diangana scored and registered an assist against Cardiff City at the weekend, taking his tally to four goals and three assists for the season.
Diangana will be understandably disappointed to be omitted from the England U21 squad. But this needs to be the driving force behind his success. He can take his career to the next level if he channels this disappointment in the correct manner.
Grady Diangana for England
Diangana was first noticed by England last season after bursting onto the scene at West Ham. He scored twice on his Hammers debut and racked up a number of first-team appearances.
This led to an England U20 call-up and a couple of outings at that age group level. But he got the nod for a promotion to the U21s after his fine form for West Brom caught the eye.
Last month, Diangana was a late addition to the squad. Boothroyd called Diangana and QPR’s Ebere Eze into his squad to replace Joe Willock and Dwight McNeil. But there has been no repeat of that this time around.
Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White and Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson both dropped out, alongside Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood. But bizarrely, Boothroyd has gone for Sam Surridge and Ben Wilmot instead of Eze and Diangana.
Surridge plays as a striker for Swansea City (on loan from Bournemouth) and has as many goals as Diangana. Wilmot, also on loan at Swansea (from Watford), is a central defender. Wilmot’s inclusion ahead of Eze and Diangana makes little sense as two creative midfielders have been replaced by a defender.
England snub can be positive
Diangana will not feature in the international break but this gives him a chance to work on his game. The 21-year-old will train with Slaven Bilic’s men – who sit top of the Championship – and he is improving with every performance.
There is now an additional goal for Diangana. As well as trying to impress Manuel Pellegrini, Diangana needs to earn his place back in the U21 squad by impressing Boothroyd. With the right attitude and approach, Diangana can now take his game to the next level and continue to prove his doubters wrong.