West Ham have signed highly rated Toulouse central defender Issa Diop for a reported fee of around £22 million. The French defender has amassed 39 caps for France at youth level, which includes his part in France’s u19 European Championships win in 2016, where he was also named in the team of the tournament.
Despite being just 21, he has played 85 Ligue 1 matches for Toulouse, making him one of many hot prospects coming out of France at the moment. Interestingly, Diop’s grandfather Lybasse is famous for being the first Senegalese footballer to play in France’s top flight.
Diop has commented on his move saying:
“I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”
Fantasy Premier League Potential (4.5m)
Diop stands at 6ft 4ins meaning he will be a great threat for set pieces and cause havoc for opposition defenders. In his 85 games for Toulouse he has netted a handy six times. He has proved he can score on the big stage as well, as he scored a goal in the final of the u19 Euros.
Diop has been given the price of £4.5m which I think is more than fair. With his price tag he is bound to start for the Hammers who have also strengthened in other positions including their goalkeeper which will hopefully mean more clean sheets for Diop and evidently more points.
West Ham’s first five fixtures are as follows: Liverpool (A), Bournemouth (H), Arsenal (A), Wolves (H) and Everton (A). Diop will certainly come in handy for the games at the London Stadium but it’s a tough start away from home for the Irons. It gets worse after these as they play another three of the top six in their next four outings.
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)