West Ham United are in contention to sign Toulouse centre-back Issa Diop in the transfer market. According to reports in France, Hammers had sent scouts to watch him play in the last few games of the season and the 21-year-old seems to be good enough for a switch to the West London outfit. The Hammers were in a relegation battle in the later stages of the last term and they will be looking to reinforce in the upcoming transfer market so that they don’t have another relegation scare next season.
At such a young age, Diop has taken the responsibility and helped his team in securing their stay in the Ligue 1. They defeated AC Ajaccio in the relegation playoffs and will be playing in the French first division for 15th consecutive years in a row.
Diop has shown huge promise which is evident from the fact that at just 21, he is already Toulouse’s club captain. He has amassed 39 caps for France at various youth levels and is expected to be a French international in the near future.
For that to happen, he will need to move on to bigger clubs where he will face much more sterner challenges and after being three years in the senior squad of Toulouse, now could be the right time for the defender to make a move to other clubs.
West Ham will be in need of defensive cover as they recently let go of James Collins. They don’t have a lot of centre-back options with Angelo Ogbonna and Decland Rice being the only fit options available in the current squad. Winstone Reid’s season was plagued with injuries and Hammers will certainly need a proper centre-half in the transfer market to bring some backup and stability in their defensive backline.
We often saw Moyes deploying a system of three at the back with fullbacks being turned into wingbacks. However, it remains to be seen what tactics Pellegrini will use. It is expected that he will go for a more traditional back 4 and that would require 2 centre-halves in the backline.
The signing of Diop will certainly boost Pellegrini’s options and it will create a good competition for places. However, it remains to be seen that whether he will be able to adapt to the English game but what we have seen is evidence enough of the Ligue 1 ace become a good signing for the Hammers.