West Ham retaining this £50m-rated star amidst interest from London rivals is crucial

Why West Ham should keep hold of Issa Diop amidst Tottenham interest

According to the Sky Sports, Tottenham want to sign West Ham defender Issa Diop as a replacement for defender Jan Vertonghen. However, West Ham are reluctant to sell Diop, given that he is crucial to their backline and value him above £50m.

Issa Diop, 22, played 38 times for the Hammers last season but has been out of the starting XI since he was suspended for the 1-0 win at Chelsea three weeks ago. The Frenchman was singled out for praise by Jose Mourinho after his Manchester United side lost 3-1 at West Ham in September 2018.

Mourinho wants to make additions to the Tottenham side he inherited since taking over from the sacked Mauricio Pochettino and wants defensive reinforcements in January.

The Portuguese tactician views Diop as a long-term successor for Vertonghen, who is out of contract at the end of the season, the report adds.

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

Nevertheless, West Ham should stay firm in their stance of not selling Diop in the upcoming winter transfer market.

The Frenchman joined the Hammers from Ligue 1 side, Toulouse, in the summer of 2018 and quickly became a regular fixture in Manuel Pellegrini’s defence.

He has since gone on to make 54 appearances for West Ham, and despite losing his place in the team recently, he has really impressed on the most part. He has three-and-a-half years left on his contract at the London Stadium.

Diop has lost his place to Fabian Balbuena in West Ham’s defence of late and will now have to prove himself when an opportunity arises.

The young defender has shown his ball-playing qualities and aerial ability since coming to England, and a few underwhelming performances this season don’t make him a bad defender overnight.

West Ham, meanwhile, are struggling and lie just a point above the relegation zone. Their defence has been all over the place and even though Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna are starting to bring some stability, Pellegrini cannot rely on them to maintain consistency.

West Ham Boss Manuel Pellegrini. (Getty Images)
West Ham Boss Manuel Pellegrini. (Getty Images)

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Any injury or dip in form can hurt the Hammers if they allow Diop to leave next month. And with tougher games to come and the club embroiled in a relegation battle, an important player like Diop has to be kept at any cost.

Verdict

Diop is a talented defender and under the right guidance, the Frenchman has the potential to do very well for West Ham. Considering his high potential, he must be kept hold off by Pellegrini.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
Follow me @garrydevildada

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