West Bromwich Albion appeared to have struck an exceptional deal when they managed to convince West Ham United to allow Grady Diangana to leave for good.
The winger had enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Hawthorns, but speculation had grown over whether the Hammers would allow one of their star prospects to leave.
Will Diangana come in well for West Brom?
When the deal was sanctioned, fans were in turmoil. Even club captain Mark Noble took to social media to claim“As captain of this football club, I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady is gone, a great kid with a great future!”
His feelings were known, but a £18 million the fee was a knock for the Baggies and decent value for the Irons at the time.
However, with the way the move has unfolded, it looks like the pendulum has swung massively in favor of a much better deal for West Ham.
Eight goals and Seven the assists helped propel West Brom to Championship promotion, but just a goal the following season saw them fall straight back out of the Premier League.
Under pressure from the top flight, the 24-year-old collapsed.
In his last full season, in the 2021/22 campaign, he scored twice and just helped once in 41 appearances. His form has dropped dramatically, and what was a big expense at the time looks increasingly ridiculous.
So with just a Premier League goal and 11 League goals, he cost the club £1.5m per league goal.
Not only that, but with a salary of £20,000 a week he probably cost £23m in total.
It has been a transfer nightmare for a club in financial difficulty. They could only muster a total transfer spend of £1.21m last summer, relying on Steve Bruce to make mostly free transfers.
What seemed like a sharp deal quickly turned sour for West Brom, who are counting on him to be their star because of his price tag.
West Ham will be delighted with how this saga unfolds, while Bruce picks up the pieces.