Wednesday 23 Jan
Updated Thursday 24 Jan 00:09
First Team

Noble: I won't let young Hammers get carried away

Grady Diangana replaces Mark Noble at AFC Bournemouth


Mark Noble believes Grady Diangana will be able to concentrate 100 per cent on establishing himself as a West Ham United player after committing his long-term future to the Club.

Diangana put pen to paper on a new contract until summer 2025 last week, having impressed manager Manuel Pellegrini, his coaching staff, teammates and supporters alike since breaking into the first-team squad in September.

And captain Noble, who knows exactly what it takes to make the transition from Academy of Football prospect to senior professional and has kept a close eye on the winger’s progress, says having his off-field future sorted will only benefit the 20-year-old.

Of course, I have a role as captain and as an experienced player not to ever let the younger ones get carried away

Mark Noble

“I think it’s right that the Club has signed him up because, as I’ve said from day one, you have to keep hold of your best young players,” said the skipper. “Both Grady and Declan Rice, who also signed a new contract a few weeks ago, are fantastic.

“Grady has come on leaps and bounds since he got into the team so, now he is set up for life off the pitch, he needs to knuckle down and work even harder.”

As captain and a homegrown player himself, Noble is acutely aware of his position as a role model to the Club’s Academy graduates, and it is a role he takes very seriously indeed.

Whether it be advice on off-field issues or pointers as to how to rise to the challenge of top-flight football on the training pitch or on matchday, the Hammers’ all-time record Premier League appearance-maker is always ready to lend an ear to his younger, far less-experienced colleagues.

“Of course, I have a role as captain and as an experienced player not to ever let the younger ones get carried away,” he confirmed, before praising the likes of Diangana and Rice for their own mature approach to life as professional footballers.

“They are young men and are both 20, so it’s a little bit different to myself, as I was playing first-team football at 17 and had played a lot of games by then.

“They are both 20, so they are not as young as I was, but I know what they are going through and, knowing them both as I do, I am sure they both have what it takes to play in the Premier League.”