West Ham United captain Mark Noble was among the Hammers players to hit out at their own club on Friday following the announcement of Grady Diangana’s transfer to West Bromwich Albion.
Diangana, 22, impressed while on loan with the Baggies in the Championship last season, scoring eight goals and recording seven assists as he helped the club – managed by former West Ham player and coach Slaven Bilic – achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League.
And the midfielder, who came through the Hammers’ academy, completed a permanent move to West Brom on Friday, much to the dismay of West Ham fans and a number of players at the east London club.
“As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!” tweeted Noble, 33, who has spent his entire professional career at West Ham.
Jack Wilshere also criticised his side for the decision to sell Diangana, writing on Instagram: “Go and do your thing in a club that respects you. Big player with a big future.”
Hammers defender Arthur Masuaku also took to Twitter to air his frustration.
Diangana, for his own part, wrote: “I would like to say thank you to everyone at @westham who have helped me to develop and become the player and person I am today, since the age of 10. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be able to represent such a great club!
“Thank you to the fans for supporting me along the way, you will always have a special place in my heart Love and peace, God bless.”
West Ham said in a statement that the decision to sell Diangana was made “reluctantly” but “in the best interests” of the club, with a view to “strengthening the squad”.
The east London outfit have been linked with a move for Brentford’s Said Benrahma, who scored 17 times while notching 10 assists last term.
But West Ham supporters were keen for the club to stick with one of their own youngsters in Diangana – who departed for an undisclosed fee – rather than buying from elsewhere.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies