There are dream debuts and then there is Grady Diangana.
The 20-year-old winger made his first ever senior appearance for West Ham United during the EFL Cup clash against League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town in September. And it is fair to say he made the ideal impression.
Diangana scored twice and set up another to inspire the Hammers to an outstanding 8-0 win. 51 minutes of Premier League football has followed and, according to the Mirror (22 October, page 53), the Congo-born starlet could be set for a prolonged run in the first-team.
That is because £22 million summer signing Andriy Yarmolenko has suffered a serious injury blow.
The Ukrainian international was stretchered off in the first half of West Ham’s 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham on Saturday and is now set for six months on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.
As a result, the Mirror claims that Manuel Pellegrini is now set to be put his faith in Diangana. Michail Antonio, who looked set to be sold in the summer, is also due to be handed a bigger role in the Chilean’s first-team plans.
While no one at West Ham will be pleased to see Yarmolenko’s debut season in tatters, the opportunity to watch Diangana on a weekly basis gives the fans something to look forward to.
The report adds that Pellegrini could also offer 19-year-old forgotten man Reece Oxford a chance to kick-start his career with another summer signing, Carlos Sanchez, ruled out for a similar period of time.