On the 19th June 2018, West Ham announced the signing of French defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for a then club-record fee of £22 million.
The centre-back was one of the most highly sought after youngsters in world football, having made a name for himself as one of the most promising defenders in the game after breaking out in Ligue 1 at a young age and making 85 appearances for Toulouse.
The Hammers managed to beat out the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United for the Frenchman, who were both reportedly interested in the defender during his final season in France, but it was the east London side who were able to shell out the cash for Diop, and in doing so made him their club-record signing until Felipe Anderson signed a few weeks later.
Here’s how West Ham fans reacted to the news of Diop’s signing…
Our BEAST!! Fantastic signing
— R. Jones (@RockyWhu) 19 June 2018
Looks like a confident fella like him already welcome to West Ham Issa Diop
— Paul Connelly (@Hammer66Paul) 19 June 2018
— Jacob Young (@Young__Jacob) 19 June 2018
Looks to be another potentially good signing.. looking forward to seeing the big fella play!!
— Ian Collins (@collinsano) 19 June 2018
Very good signing David
— (@CallumWHU__) 20 June 2018
Excellent signing…hope this bodes well for more!
— Dr Daniel Da Costa (@DrDanielDaCost1) 20 June 2018
A brilliant signing David, ( Well Done The Board )
— Alan Sadler (@alan_sadler) 20 June 2018
Thank you Mr Gold. Next level players your keeping your promise this season. I thank you
— lee marke (@Leemarke72Lee) 20 June 2018
With such a transfer fee looming over his head, West Ham fans expected big things from the French youngster ahead of his arrival in east London, and thankfully for supporters, Diop has been one of the club’s outstanding players this season.
The defender has taken to Premier League football perfectly, making himself a big presence in every game he starts and always giving 100% for the Hammers alongside Fabian Balbuena in the West Ham defence.
Diop has started all but five games for the Hammers this season, missing three games in a row in the league recently due to needing rest according to manager Manuel Pellegrini, and in his comeback game against Tottenham the defender was named Man of the Match after a standout performance as Spurs fell to their first defeat at their new stadium.
Diop has more than impressed Iron fans in the Premier League this season, and at just 22-years-old there is no doubt that the French defender can go a long way with West Ham and continue to develop his game at the club as David Gold can pat himself on the back for signing a player who has been a major success in east London.
West Ham fans, can Diop become of the league’s best defenders? Let us know!
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