West Ham announce ‘reluctant’ big-money sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom/Mark Noble ‘gutted & angry’

Grady Diangana has departed West Ham United for West Bromwich Albion on a permanent deal, the two clubs have confirmed.

Baggies stint

22-year-old Diangana is a product of West Ham’s youth system.

After struggling to break into the first-team setup of the Hammers on a consistent basis, though, the highly-regarded winger was farmed out on loan last season.

Diangana joined promotion-chasing West Brom for the 2019/20 campaign.

And to say that the youngster went on to build on his reputation whilst at the Hawthorns would be putting it lightly.

All told, Diangana featured 30 times in the Championship for Slaven Bilic’s men. Across these outings, meanwhile, he racked up an impressive 8 goals and 7 assists, showcasing a stellar combination of touch, pace and penchant for the spectacular.

This contribution of course proved key to the successful season enjoyed by West Brom, as the Baggies finished runners-up to Leeds United, booking their spot back in the Premier League for the 2020/21 campaign.

West Ham exit

As such, word forthcoming in the media over recent weeks that West Brom were hopeful of making Diangana’s temporary spell at the club permanent had come as little surprise.

The English youth international’s presence (and positive displays) in West Ham’s pre-season fixtures to this point, however, had led most to believe that the Irons were ready to stand firm, in handing Diangana a prominent role in the club’s first-team setup for the season ahead.

But, as outlined above, much to the disappointment of the Londoners’ faithful, this has in fact not proven the case.

In an announcement across social media a short time ago, West Brom revealed that they have landed their former loanee on a permanent basis, in a deal worth a reported £18 million:

This was swiftly followed by a further announcement on the part of West Ham, confirming the ‘reluctant’ departure of their talented youth product:

The decision to sell Grady has been made reluctantly but – ultimately – in the best interests of the Club and with the aim to strengthen the squad in different areas at this time.

The money received for Grady will be reinvested entirely in the team, in line with the manager’s targets. We believe that this will give us the best possible chance of ensuring we have a balanced squad to compete in the Premier League and capable of reaching our objectives and ambitions this season.

One high-profile individual at the London Stadium to have been left particularly disappointed by Diangana’s exit, meanwhile, is Mark Noble.

Taking to his personal Twitter account this evening, the Hammers captain confirmed that he has been left ‘angry and sad’ by the news of his side’s latest sale, before tipping his now-former teammate for ‘a great future’:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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