DONE DEAL - One time West Ham cult figure in €9m China switch

Alessandro Diamanti was a one-hit wonder at West Ham - but he is now a Guangzhou Evergrande player.

Alessandro Diamanti will be remembered by West Ham United fans as something of a mercurial daredevil. Never prolific and often frustrating - but strangely appealing to the Hammers fans and the neutral.

He was also undoubtedly harbouring precocious talent even if it was not on full view all the time. One thing nobody could deny was his wand of a left-foot.

However when Gianfranco Zola left the club the writing appeared on the wall for Diamanti - and after just one game of the doomed 2010-11 season he left the club for Brescia.

Since then he has left for Bologna and had an excellent 2011-12 at the club that saw him into Euro 2012.

Of course he then went on to score the winning penalty against England at Poland-Ukraine - lest we forget.

He has had another great campaign in Northern Italy in 2012-13 and started the new season in similar form. It was such performances that led to him being a transfer target for Italian giants Inter Milan as well as Juventus last summer.

But Diamanti is off to a rather different destination - as he becomes the latest big name to sample everything Chinese football has to offer.

Guangzhou Evergrande lost their star player Dario Conca to Fluminense in January - and have been looking for a replacement ever since.

The Chinese clubs manager is Marcelo Lippi - who gave Diamanti his international debut in 2010.

They have signed Diamanti - as confirmed on the Bologna website:

“Bologna FC 1909 announces that it has reached an agreement with Guangzhou Evergrande FC for the permanent transfer of Alessandro Diamanti."

The deal is said to be worth in the region €9 million and Diamanti is now the Chinese clubs new marquee player - and continues to be the big fish in a smaller pond.

Now time will tell if he can make it big in China - after many a foreign star has failed in recent history.

image: © wonker

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