3.7 clearances: Man Utd signing this 22-year-old PL star for £40m would be a coup

Why Issa Diop would be a brilliant signing for Manchester United

According to The Sun, Manchester United are eyeing west Ham star Issa Diop as a solution to the defensive woes.

United doss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is weighing up a £40m move for the defender, who has also attracted interest from Chelsea, according to the report. His performances have been outstanding for the Hammers, despite the club displaying a poor show this season.

The Reds have endured a mixed season so far and their inconsistency was brought to light in their game against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, where Solskjaer’s men conceded 3 goals in the first half.

Issa Diop was excellent for West Ham during 2018/19 campaign. (Getty Images)
Issa Diop was excellent for West Ham during the 2018/19 campaign. (Getty Images)

Despite signing Harry Maguire last summer, they have failed to tighten up the backline and have conceded 25 goals in 21 league games already. A sign which shows their lack of confidence and this could prove to be costly in the upcoming fixtures.

The Old Trafford outfit have managed to stay inside the top-six in the league table, but it is clear that they need to make some reinforcements in several key areas. While their midfield has not been up to the mark, the defensive situation also seems to be getting worse in big games.

Centre-backs Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo have been out of action for quite a long time. Meanwhile, Phil Jones has been vulnerable in the few games that he started. First-choice central defender Victor Lindelof has played regularly but lacks confidence in pressure situations.

Having said this, Solskjaer should prioritize strengthening the defence as his side are challenging in various competitions. In that regard, Hammers’ Issa Diop would perfectly fit the bill and would be more than just a backup in United’s squad.

A highly-rated defender, Diop has taken his game to another level in the Premier League despite his side’s unacceptable performance under Manuel Pellegrini. He has featured in 15 league games this season, helping the team with 4 clean sheets.

Issa Diop (Getty Images)
Issa Diop (Getty Images)

The Toulouse youth product has been a regular member for West Ham since his arrival at the London Stadium. He featured in 33 top-flight games in his first term with the club, thus claiming the spot for himself in the heart of the defence.

In his debut season, he helped the Hammers register clean sheet and was one of the chief reasons for the side’s 10th place finish last season. They have depended on his composure at the back, which paid off brilliantly.

At 6ft 4in, Diop has been a huge presence in West Ham’s backline and has made major contributions with his physical strength. This season, he has registered 1.2 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 3.7 clearances per game, according to Whoscored, which is better than Lindelof’s numbers (0.7 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, and 3.6 clearances).

The video below shows his defensive abilities and what he could bring to United if a deal goes through.

His numbers are proof that he has been developing constantly and has performed much better than other top defenders in England’s top-flight.

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Verdict

Although he is just 22, he has performed in accordance with the standards of the Premier League. And this should be seen as the right opportunity for United to lure him to Old Trafford. Going for an established defender in Diop would prove to be a step in the right direction for the club.

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Written by Indhrajit James

Hi, I am Indhrajit James from the Soul of India, Odisha. An English graduate who worships the incredible game of football. An avid follower of European football, playing and discussing this game is something that I cannot take out of my life.
Follow me on Facebook @Indhrajit

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