Who is Mbaye Diagne? A profile of the new West Brom forward

As it stands, it looks pretty bleak for West Brom from a Premier League survival standpoint.

The Baggies sit 19th in the Premier League table and, at the time of writing, are seven points behind safety. Sam Allardyce is the man tasked with keeping West Brom on top of the game, and upon arriving as manager he made it clear that reinforcements are needed up front.

Cenk Tosun, Josh King and Christian Benteke were all linked with a move to The Hawthorns, but it’s
Mbaye Diagne, who arrived at the club from Galatasaray on a six-month loan – with option to buy – tasked with scoring goals to keep West Brom going.

But for many, Diagne is a relative unknown and West Brom fans won’t have too much background information about their new signing. It’s there that 90 mins enters, providing crucial things to know about him …

Good news, West Brom fans – Diagne has been prolific in recent seasons.

He scored 32 goals in 36 appearances for Kasimpasa between 2017 and 2019, prompting Turkish giants Galatasaray to act. Ten goals in his first 12 appearances followed, before a short loan spell at Club Brugge.

Nine more goals in Turkey followed and he arrives at West Brom after scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances in all 2020/21 competitions – including a hat-trick in November.

More good news for Baggies devotees, Diagne will bring a bit of physicality up front – something Karlan Grant and Callum Robinson haven’t been able to deliver until now.

6’3 tall, he is more than able to come short to hold the ball and is very good in the air. Big Sam has always loved a target man – thinking of Andy Carroll and Kevin Davies here – and Diagne won’t disappoint when it comes to getting stuck.

28 reservations and two red cards in his career bear witness to this …

Mbaye Diagne against Thiago Silva | FRANCK FIFE / Getty Images

The 29-year-old forward has some pedigree about him, as well as goals.

He made the group stages of the Champions League last year while on loan to Belgian giant Club Brugge, and also made the Europa League for Galatasaray – scoring twice in the competition’s preliminary rounds. this season.

Diagne has won ten international caps for Senegal, playing alongside Idrissa Gueye, Ismaila Sarr, Cheikhou Kouyate and, most importantly, Sadio Mane.

Although he has yet to score for his country, he played a valuable role in helping them to finish second in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte in charge of Juventus | Valerio Pennicino / Getty Images

Big Sam isn’t the only great manager who has been impressed with the striker.

A record 23 goals in 29 games for Serie D side AC Bra in 2012/13 saw Diagne join Antonio Conte’s Juventus at the age of 21. However, despite spending two years at the Old Lady, Diagne never donned the famous black. and white stripes, and spent most of his time on loan before moving on.

Mbaye Diagne wastes a penalty against PSG | FRANCK FIFE / Getty Images

During his time at Club Brugge, Diagne made headlines for all the wrong reasons in a controversial 12-yard crash against PSG in the Champions League.

He disobeyed Bruges boss Philippe Clement and decided to remove the penalties from Hanas Venaken, only to produce a tame kick that was easily saved by Keylor Navas. He was then kicked aside and fined – probably better not to disobey Big Sam, eh?

Mbaye Diagne
Mbaye Diagne playing in the Chinese Super League | XIN LI / Getty Images

Some may see Diagne’s nomadic trait as a bad thing, but it cannot be said that he lacks experience.

Since the start of his career in Italy, he has been part of teams in Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, China and Turkey – accumulating more than 100 career goals.

England will be the seventh country in which he has played; here is the hope that it will be a memorable passage for the Baggies.