The Senegalese international was signed by West Ham this year on a free transfer after he was released by Wigan at the close of last season. As such, the player’s contract included a release clause to the effect that any club that offers £6 million for him is automatically granted permission to discuss terms with the player’s agent.
Subsequently, West Ham are in the process of offering him an improved deal in the hope of keeping him. But his performances this season have earned him the attention of a number of suitors – former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp described him as a cross between Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira – some praise for a player who was without a club just a matter of months ago.
Liverpool are understood to be leading the race to trigger his release-clause and could table a bid as early as January, just a month away now. According to reports Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to add some steal to his squad but is unlikely to have a surplus of funds made available for him – at £6 million Diame could be just the kind of player he’s looking for.
Ironically, Diame was lined up to sign for Liverpool in the summer, by Kenny Dalglish. When the 'King' was sacked, the deal to sign Diame then fell through.
Whilst Liverpool are undoubtedly in the market for a striker, first and foremost, they have been linked with a number of defensive midfielders in the run up to the winter window – Real Betis’ Benat, hailed as the ‘new Xabi Alonso’ also has been monitored by Rodgers’ scouts recently as the club continue their search for a player who can add a layer of protection to the back four.
25-year-old Diame was a key player in West Ham’s 3-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea at the weekend. His three seasons for Wigan have provided him with vital Premier League experience and he’d need no time to adapt. He’s featured in all 15 of West Ham’s Premier League fixtures this season and his solid performances have been one of the key factors in their impressive form this season.
He’s bagged himself two goals but his role as the anchorman between defence and attack has been pivotal – his link play is considered, intelligent and efficient.
He’s not scared of a shot either – in fact his two goals came from 22 shots in total. But his defensive work has been sublime – he has mastered the art of reading the opposition’s attacking play and using his positioning to deny them space – he’s also committed 29 fouls – a large portion of which were crucial, the kind of cynical professional foul that, whilst technically illegal, often keeps his side in the game.
Despite missing out on him in the summer, would you like to see Liverpool sign him for £6 million?
image: © subactive