In the summer of 2020, Neil Lennon’s Celtic scouts were reported to have been incredibly impressed by the form of Grady Diangana, who had lit up the Championship during a season-long loan spell with West Bromwich Albion.
Indeed, in his 30 appearances in the second tier in 2019/20, the West Ham United winger played an influential role in the Baggies’ promotion to the Premier League, scoring eight goals, registering six assists and creating eight great chances for his teammates. in addition to taking an average of 1.6 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.
These returns saw the former England U21 international average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.06, ranking him as Albion’s third-best player in the league that year.
And, as a result of this form, the likes of Celtic, Ajax, Newcastle United and Everton were reported to be interested in the 23-year-old, for whom West Ham were demanding a fee in the region of £15m-£20m. in order to separate.
Ultimately though, it would be West Brom who would secure the striker permanently, with Slaven Bilic’s side spending around £18m to get the youngster out of London Stadium.
Although, while Diangana’s move to The Hawthorns would no doubt have been a devastating blow for Celtic at the time, nearly two years on, it is becoming clear that the Baggies paid too much for the winger.
Indeed, in his 20 Premier League appearances in 2020/21, the £7.2m-valued striker failed to make any real mark in the top flight, scoring a goal, registering no assists and creating no big chances for his side. teammates, as well as taking an average of just 0.7 shots and making 0.3 key passes per game.
These returns saw the player whom Lee Hendrie termed a “magnificent” talent who is “pleasing to the eye” averaging an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.47, ranking him as Albion’s joint second-worst player in the division.
Do you think Diangana would have done well in Scotland?
Things haven’t gotten much better for the £25,000-a-week attacker in his 35 Championship outings this season, as the 23-year-old has scored two goals, provided an assist and created three big chances, with these metrics seeing the average. of the extremes. a SofaScore match rating of 6.67, ranking him as Steve Bruce’s joint eighth worst performance in the second tier.
As such, it’s clear Celtic hit the jackpot by missing out on the £18m signing of a player who Adrian Goldberg labeled “desperate” and claimed looks “like a youth player playing in a men’s game” in 2020. , as Diangana’s form has fallen off a cliff since his permanent move to West Brom.
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