West Brom latest news: "Really exciting" youngster singled out as "massive" for Valerien Ismael

West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael

Express & Star reporter Luke Hatfield has backed Grady Diangana to show why West Bromwich Albion parted with big money for his services last year by enjoying a season to remember.

What's the latest news on Diangana?

Diangana made the permanent move to West Brom 12 months ago, with the Baggies keen to get their man following a successful season-long loan which saw him play a key role in sealing promotion to the Premier League.

The £18million switch created shockwaves at his previous club, with West Ham captain Mark Noble taking to social media to publicly confirm he was angered by the departure of the Hammers youth product.

However, the 23-year-old failed to live up to expectations at the Hawthorns and scored just one goal in 21 first-team appearances last season.

That goal came in the second outing of the season, at Everton, and the winger failed to contribute a single assist.

Diangana's lack of threat in the attacking third resulted in West Brom struggling to find the back of the net and they suffered an immediate relegation back to the Championship.

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Diangana?

Valerien Ismael was appointed as Albion's new head coach in June, replacing Sam Allardyce after the former England manager decided against penning a new deal to remain in the Hawthorns hotseat.

He has set his sights on leading the Baggies back into the Premier League at the first time of asking and Hatfield believes Ismael's style of play will benefit the former West Ham man.

He told GMS: "Ismael has mentioned that he wants to adapt his style of play to teams that sit back and I think Grady Diangana could be massive if that's the case.

"We all know how capable he is in the Championship and he is a really exciting player.

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"It's been on and off for him at the start of the season but I'm still backing him to have a really big year."

How has Diangana performed this season?

Diangana has made a promising start to the campaign and started five of West Brom's first six Championship fixtures under Ismael.

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However, like last term, Diangana is struggling when it comes to end product and has yet to notch a goal or assist under the new regime.

He was also substituted at the interval for what Ismael later described as tactical reasons during Saturday's stalemate with Millwall.

Having said that, the winger's importance was underlined as former Barnsley boss Ismael rested Diangana for the League Cup second round clash with Arsenal last month.

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