Alou Diarra's time at Upton Park has not been a fond one, and looks set to leave.
Alou Diarra arrived at West Ham United in the summer of 2012 on the back of a glowing career in France. The former Liverpool player had garnered a successful career in Ligue 1, representing Lens and Lyon before more prominent roles at Bordeaux and Marseille.
When he moved to West Ham for £2m in 2012 it looked like it would be a great piece of business for Sam Allardyce. At that time Diarra had been captaining his country and had two Ligue 1 titles to his name. However Diarra has suffered some very serious injuries at Upton Park and has never really had a chance to establish himself.
On Sky Sports, Diarra admits he probably should never have made the move to West Ham: "It was a bad career choice and I need a real challenge. A January departure? Yes it is very likely. To France? I've explored it all."
Diarra has played just five league games in his one and a half years at the club. Injury kept him out for a lot of the first season at the club, before finishing it on loan with Rennes. This year he suffered knee ligament damage in a Capital Cup second round game against Cheltenham. He returned last week though, but in an unfamiliar role of centre-back. He played in the 2-1 defeat against Fulham, but understands he is second choice at the club.
"My situation has not changed. I am not fooled. I quickly understood he [Allardyce] didn't rely on me, as I am again confined to the bench."
Diarra should find himself with plenty of offers if he does decide to return to France though. West Ham could be missing out on Diarra's fight, and tough tackling though which would be vital in a side battling against relegation. Injury certainly disrupted his spell at the club, but even so, Allardyce never quite gave him enough opportunities, and he could have been an important player for The Hammers. Not everyone is given the chance to be France captain, and his leadership skills were never used at the club.
image: © law_keven