Why West Ham shouldn’t let go of Issa Diop at any cost
According to reports in Sun Football, French giants Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for West Ham defender Issa Diop. The Frenchman has made a terrific start to life at London Stadium, settling in well after joining in the summer.
The Ligue 1 champions are ready to offer £50m to land the centre-back and add to their squad filled with young French talents.
The 21-year-old has been brilliant for the Hammers, having arrived a few months ago from Toulouse for £22m. His fantastic performance against Manchester United led to Jose Mourinho labelling him a “monster.” (Sun)
That being said, Manuel Pellegrini needs him in the squad not just for this season, but beyond that. West Ham can afford to lose Diop neither in January nor next summer. Here’s why:
Centre-back partnership a key aspect
After a slightly unsure start, the centre-back partnership of Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, both of whom were bought in the summer, is flourishing. As a result, the Hammers look a better unit at the back, not allowing easy goals in.
Pellegrini, who was also hired this summer, should be happy that his new defenders are doing a great job together.
Furthermore, Diop is a fantastic ball-playing centre-back whose all-around game is of a high level. The 21-year-old has a pass accuracy of 87.5% this season, along with an aerial duel-winning average of two per game. He has made an average of two tackles, 1.6 interceptions and five clearances per match.
At such a young age, the Frenchman is showing signs of developing into a top-class centre-back. Diop and Balbuena have formed a strong alliance in the centre of the West Ham defence and hence, the Hammers must retain Diop beyond this season.
If PSG do come calling, it may be tough for the centre-back to reject a move since he has pledged his allegiance to France. Returning to play in his home country might be an option the player would consider.
However, the East London club cannot afford to let this happen, not for the next two or three seasons at least. They should keep hold of the 21-year-old because he is a fantastic player who is making a considerable difference at the back.
Stats Courtesy – Whoscored.com (2018/19 season, 10 games played)