West Brom sign winger Diangana on permanent deal

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro Under 21 Qualifier - England Under 21 Training - St. George's Park, Burton upon Trent, Britain - November 11, 2019 England's Grady Diangana during training Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

(Reuters) - Newly-promoted Premier League Club West Bromwich Albion have signed winger Grady Diangana following a successful loan spell after West Ham United reluctantly sold the player on Friday.

Diangana has agreed a five-year deal at The Hawthorns, with British media reporting that Albion paid 18 million pounds for the former England Under-21 international.

The 22-year-old contributed eight goals and six assists in 30 Championship (second-tier) appearances during his season-long loan spell at West Brom last term, helping them clinch promotion to the Premier League by finishing runners-up.

"I'm still young and last year was like my first season in senior football. I feel I am only going to get better," Grady said in a statement here.

West Ham skipper Mark Noble was not impressed with the player's sale and the 33-year-old midfielder expressed his disappointment on Twitter here.

“As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left,” he wrote. “Great kid with a great future!”

West Ham, who finished just five points above the relegation zone last season, said the decision to sell Diangana was made reluctantly but that the money will be reinvested to strengthen the squad in different areas.

"We believe that this will give us the best possible chance of ensuring we have a balanced squad to compete in the Premier League and capable of reaching our objectives and ambitions this season," the London club said in a statement here.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris