The sale of Diangana is a slap in the face to West Ham traditions
PUBLISHED: 09:01 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:01 08 September 2020
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West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye gives his views of the latest comings and goings around the club.
The Academy of Football? You’re having a laugh; the sale of Grady Diangana is a slap in the face to the traditions of West Ham United.
Last season when the academy graduate went on loan to West Brom, the plan undoubtedly was for Grady to get experience, goals and assists, then return to West Ham a polished player ready to make the step up to the first team.
Grady lived up to his side to the bargain, sparkling for West Brom with eight goals and six assists as they clinched promotion.
The club, however, failed to provide the player with the opportunity that he’d worked 10 years for.
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West Ham United are a very different club these days. The stadium is different, the badge is different, one of the only connections the club still has to its roots is the academy, bringing through the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick in what was a golden period for the club in the late 90s/early 2000s.
That famed academy, that connection with the West Ham of old is perhaps the last conduit the club’s long-suffering fans still have with their club.
These same fans will have kept a watchful eye on Diangana’s progress and salivated at the thought that this dynamic, young winger could form part of a deadly attack with Jarrod Bowen, another young winger who had 17 goals and seven assists in the Championship before joining the Hammers in January.
It’s no secret the club needs to sell before they can buy and it’s little surprise there was little interest in the players the club had hoped to move on – those on huge wages who have underperformed for far too long and whose anaemic performances almost resulted in the club’s third relegation in 17 years.
Unfortunately Grady has had to be sacrificed for the errors of others.
When West Ham fans were asked to give up their spiritual home the powers-that-be assured them it was necessary to compete with the top six and fight for trophies and the days of selling most prized assets were gone.
This is the club’s fifth season at the London Stadium. They finished 16th last season and are selling one of the best players to come through their academy in recent years. What’s changed? Did the fans really give up Upton Park for this?
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