You get the feeling if Scott Parker was still patrolling West Ham United’s midfield he would have been furious to see Grady Diangana leave the club.
Months on from Mark Noble’s very public rant, the Hammers’ decision to cash in on one of their most exciting academy graduates still rankles among some fans. Even if the East End club’s superb start to the season has eased the frustration.
Diangana ripped the Championship to shreds last season during a loan spell at West Brom.
And, once it became clear West Ham were willing to sell, the Baggies swooped to secure an £18 million permanent deal.
However, if things had worked out differently, Diangana could have been lining up for Fulham this season rather than their fellow top-flight newcomers.
According to the Daily Mail in August, Fulham planned to hijack West Brom’s bid for Diangana before the England U21 international sealed his club-record move to the Hawthorns.
And Parker, whose side is desperate for a win after picking up just one point from a possible 18, will be praying Diangana doesn’t come back to haunt them in what feels like a make-or-break clash at Craven Cottage.
“West Brom have spent a bit of money. They’ve brought in a couple of front-half players, one who was there last year, and I think we’ve all seen his quality. A fantastic player in Diangana,” says the former West Ham captain.
Diangana wasn’t the only big-money signing West Brom made during the transfer window.
After months of speculation, Karlan Grant finally arrived from Huddersfield in a £15 million deal. He marked his second Baggies appearance with a ruthless equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Monday.
“The boy Grant has added some (Premier League) experience as well so they’re definitely an improved team,” Parker adds.
“I think it’s got the makings of a very good game (on Monday). I sense it will be a very tight – and a very good – one.”