Alou Diarra is poised to return to first team action after originally being ruled out for the rest of the season after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in August.
Diarra needed needed surgery after injuring his knee in the Capital One Cup 2-1 win over Cheltenham. After making it through three West Ham Development games it is claimed he is now in the first team squad and available for selection for the Chelsea home match. Diarra, played 90 minutes in West Ham 9-0 win over Gillingham game on Tuesday and said after the match ‘I am happy to now be doing my job, playing football, and my recovery has been amazingly quick’. He also played in West Ham XI friendly against Millwall on Friday.
West Ham are believed to have paid a fee of around £2.5 million in August 2012 for Diarra from Marseille who were keen to get his hefty £60,000 a week wages of their books. By January this year his days seemed numbered after he claimed he was lied to by West Ham & agents.
After just five appearances in a West Ham shirt, Diarra claimed he was deceived by West Ham when they tried to lure him to Upton Park in the summer.
‘The speeches were so positive,’ Diarra told L’Equipe. ‘I was told that I was a priority for the manager’ ‘At 31-years-old, I wanted to find another league, and Marseille needed to reduce their wage bill, so it suited everyone ‘It was England, London, West Ham, a popular club with a true identity. It was an opportunity to settle in the Premier League. I did not ask, I trusted ‘After a few weeks, I realised that there were a lot of lies. This agent has fooled me. Some people have made money on my back.
Admittedly, I have three year contract but I’m not unhappy financially, but I came to play, not to take an early retirement. I am positively at breaking point.’
Allardyce responded at the time saying “It is a fact of life, I look at the situation and play what I consider the best team, and because of Alou’s long-standing injury he has found it hard to adjust to what is needed in the Premier League. If he is unhappy, he just has to tell me what he wants to do and we’ll see how we go from there. We’ll have that discussion and we’ll make a decision after that on his future.”
Not long after these exchange of words in the media he was shipped out to Rennes on a six month loan and his West Ham career seemed at an end.
However, pre-season he was back seemed ready to make peace with West Ham. He told the club website “I want to fight this season with West Ham, I’ll give 100 per cent in training and I’ll wait for my chance.I want to give my best for West Ham and we’ll see. I’m ready to play in the Premier League now.Pre-season has gone well. We work hard every day, and we’ve only lost one game so it has been a good start for us”
The question is where exactly will Diarra fit back into the team and is he likely to be given a chance to repay some of the estimated £5 million we have invested in transfer fees and wages?