Staying or going?

Mohamed Diame

Since joining West Ham, Momo Diamé has become something of a cult hero. A free transfer from Wigan, Diamé can be seen as a diamond picked out of the rough. From his first appearance against Aston Villa, it has been quite evident that he is a special player, a player that has the ability to change matches in our favour.

Diamé is a rarity. Strong and powerful, but at the same time amazingly skilful with the ball at his feet, dancing around numerous players to create danger. Sunday’s game against Liverpool showed us just how good he is on the ball, skipping around several challenges to create himself a chance, that if finished, could have been one of the best individual goals of the season. I challenge you to find a player of Diamé’s skill and strength. They are a rare breed, that we would find difficult to replicate if he were to leave.

One performance that must stand out is the second half performance against Chelsea. Apparently fatigued, Allardyce saw fit to omit Diamé from the starting eleven, but place him among the substitutes. An uninspiring first half meant that Diamé was brought in. This would be the game changer. Two late goals, one from Diamé and one where Diamé one the ball back in a dangerous area to play in Matty Taylor whose rebounded shot would be turned in by Modibo Maïga. 3-1 and Diamé had cemented himself as a fans’ favourite. It was therefore very unfortunate that one week later with West Ham leading 2-1 against Liverpool that Diamé would get injured. Final score: 2-3 and a key player out for an extended period.

Well, can we survive without Diamé? Without him, we went through a fairly torrid spell. With him, he has often been the difference. If he does leave, can we find a replacement? There is talk of Jonathan Dos Santos, however he cannot fulfil the role Diamé plays. Without Diamé, the whole way we play would have to be adapted. I fear without him we would lose a lot of imagination, skill and flair, resulting in the dull and dreary long ball up to whichever aerially adept striker is up top next season.

Publicly, Diamé has spoken of his wishes to stay and have a long career at West Ham. Unfortunately however, the media touted £3.5 million release clause has created a fair bit of worry, despite no January offer. The agent, Willie McKay, well let’s just call him stubborn. He appears to care only about agent fees and supposedly threatened David Sullivan with violence in fear that he was being cut out of a deal. With him in the equation and the fact that contract talks are yet to have started, I am nervous. Diamé is a player I want in claret and blue next year and pray that he will. He has been a driving force this season that hopefully will stay and maybe become a key figure come the move to the Olympic Stadium.

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