West Bromwich Albion have truly witnessed a season of two halves, with Steve Bruce’s tenure representing pure misery as they seemed destined for a relegation battle, whilst Carlos Corberan’s fresh leadership has led them back to within the conversation for promotion.
However, one constant throughout both of these regimes has been the distinct underperformance of winger Grady Diangana.
The former West Ham United star had shone whilst on loan, yet it seems that ever since his big-money permanent move his progress has stuttered. This season in particular has exacerbated this, as whilst the rest of the team has looked fresh and hungry with the Spaniard at the helm, the 24-year-old has remained toothless.
Despite this, to see him likely ruled out for the season is not a sight anyone wanted to see, as he still has plenty to offer even if the goals and assists are not pouring in.
The dynamism and skill at the feet of the trickster make him a thorn in any opposition’s side, so replacing him will not be easy.
Perhaps they could look to the academy to do so, as they have a teenage sensation in Rico Richards who seems like the perfect option to benefit from this enforced absence.
How long is West Brom star Grady Diangana out for?
Diangana had to be substituted in his side’s win over Middlesbrough following a sustained foot injury, and his absence in the Hull City game was expected.
Should Rico Richards be given a chance?
It did not seem like a particularly emphatic injury, but when Corberan suggested that they were awaiting news from a specialist it exacerbated fears.
These fears were confirmed by journalist Lewis Cox, as he took to Twitter to claim: “Looks like bad news on Grady Diangana. Set to miss remainder of season due to surgery on ligament damage in foot. #wba waiting for second opinion but surgery likely.”
This does open the door for Richards, who has been starring for some time now in the U21 setup. His four goals and three assists in just 14 Premier League 2 games are indicative of this, but he dresses his output up in a barrage of skills and neat footwork that would get fans reeling.
It was only last year that the 19-year-old was labelled “splendid” after a particularly impressive display by journalist Joe Chapman.
For comparison, Diangana has only mustered the same tally across 31 Championship appearances, so it is hardly a high benchmark to compete with.
With little to risk for the Baggies and a hole that now needs filling, Richards could be just that man to step forward and take his chance with both hands.