Tuesday Nov 06, 2018. 09:28
England and DR Congo are set to battle over West Ham United’s attacking midfielder Grady Diangana.
The Leopards are reportedly keen on handing the 20-year-old a senior call-up, while England’s FA have asserted that as he is eligible to represent England, having moved to London aged four.
They ran the rule over the player in the Hammers’ recent matches against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
England’s plan is to put Diangana into their junior teams, with an eye on next year’s under-21 European championships in Italy and San Marino.
When asked about his international options, Diangana said: “I’ve not thought about who I will play for yet.
“Hopefully I can win international honours. But now I just want to play for West Ham.”
Diangana has come to the fore under new Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini, who has compared the youngster to former Arsenal and Villarreal player Santo Cazorla.
Pellegrini said: “When I saw him [Cazorla] play I think that he has, maybe not exactly the same as Diangana but, technical player with a good view of the pitch and with a good solution when they receive the ball.
“I trust in him [Diangana] because for me one of the most important thing for me as a player is that when you have the ball, you give the ball to a player in the same colour shirt. If you have red, you must give it to red.
"That is the basic thing for a player, and Diangana always starts with that, he loses very few balls during the game.
"Every player, when you receive the ball, has different solutions, bad or good, he always has the best solution.
"I think that in this season he will be a player in the first squad playing a lot of games."