West Brom announce huge boost to promotion hopes as key man stays

Date published: Friday 24th January 2020 2:55

West Bromwich Albion have been given a huge boost in their bid for promotion with the confirmation that West Ham loanee Grady Diangana will remain at the Hawthorns for the remainder of the season. 

There have been widespread rumours that the Hammers were set to recall the talented young winger, with echoes of last season when Harvey Barnes was recalled by Leicester City after impressing midway through the campaign.

David Moyes has been unable to confirm one way or the other West Ham’s plans for Diangana in recent weeks as they appeared to be weighing up bringing him back to the London Stadium to aid their fight against relegation.

But the 21-year-old has been a vital player for Championship leaders West Brom so far this season, registering five goals and five assists, with reports they were even willing to offer West Ham an extra loan fee in order to secure his services for the rest of the season.

“We were doing everything we could to keep Grady, but finally we have done it,” Baggies boss Slaven Bilic told West Brom’s official website. “He is staying with us until the end of the season.

“He got injured in the first minutes against Stoke but he is going to be back, hopefully very soon. It’s not going to be that soon but it’s not going to be that long. We are expecting that he will be back for the crucial stage of the season.

“I would be lying if I said I knew he would be this good, we didn’t know, but I didn’t want him here just as a squad player or as a number.

“To be fair, that was his question to me when I called him about the possibility that we would like to have him here. His question was ‘boss, am I going to play here?’

“He said, ‘you have this player and this player’. I said, ‘you are not going to walk into the team but I know you and if you do what I think you can do, then you are going to be a very important part of the team.’”

Diangana has recently been sidelined, missing the entire festive period with a back problem amid a run of form that has coincided with six winless games in the Championship since he sustained the injury at Birmingham.

He made his first start in over a month on Monday against Stoke, but he suffered a setback and had to be withdrawn after just four minutes, and West Brom went on to lose the game 2-1.

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That latest injury may well have stopped his parent club bringing him back.

“His injury last night has put paid to him coming back,” said Moyes earlier in the weekend.

“We are so short of players just now, [it’ll be] maybe a month’s time when he’s recovered.

“He’ll probably stay there until the end of the season. We think [Josh] Cullen getting games for Charlton is the best thing, too.”

 

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