Exclusive: Rookie gets nod to make shock first start for West Ham in clash v Leicester
West Ham rookie Grady Diangana is set to make his first Premier League start in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City, Football Insider can reveal.
Manuel Pellegrini has decided to fast-track the 20-year-old into the starting XI for the King Power Stadium showdown after being impressed by his development in recent weeks.
A well placed source has told Football Insider that Diangana will replace the injured Andriy Yarmolenko as West Ham make a number of changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Tottenham last week.
Pellegrini has opted to go for the young forward rather than the far more experienced Michail Antonio or Javier Hernandez in a move that many fans will regard as a major shock.
Diangana has burst onto the first team scene since making his debut in the 8-0 League Cup win over Macclesfield, scoring twice in the fixture at the end of September.
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Since then, Diangana has also made his Premier League debut the 3-1 victory against Manchester United, and impressed after coming on in the first half versus Tottenham last weekend following the devastating injury sustained by Yarmolenko, who is set to be sidelined for six months.
Pellegrini this week backed the winger to continue his development throughout the campaign, emphasising that Diangana has all the credentials to become a regular first team player.
In other West Ham news, Football Insider can reveal a Premier League mega name has contacted about a sensational January return to the club.