West Ham United will sanction the exit of Issa Diop in the summer amid heavy interest from Lyon, according to former Premier League striker Noel Whelan.
The Lowdown: Diop’s West Ham career
The 25-year-old arrived at the London Stadium in 2018 after the Hammers agreed a then-club record £22m fee with Ligue 2 outfit Toulouse. However, since arriving in east London, the defender has often struggled to adjust to life in the English top flight.
The Latest: Whelan’s claim on Diop
Whelan, who used to regularly feature as a pundit for the BBC, believes that West Ham will let the Frenchman go in the summer.
Speaking with Football Insider, the 47-year-old claimed: “I think they can afford to let him go.
“They have Zouma now and Craig Dawson has provided quality and consistency this season. He has been the standout player out of all of the centre-halves for me. David Moyes knows how important Dawson is at the back. He’s a leader and a competitor. He’s their rock at the back.
“Diop is not getting in the side so I think they’ll let him go and look elsewhere. It doesn’t surprise me to hear he might leave. I think they will let him if the right offer comes in.”
The Verdict: Time to sell
Given Lyon’s apparent interest in the player, this may be the time for West Ham and Diop to part ways.
Despite the huge promise he showed when he first arrived at the club, the move hasn’t really worked out for the Frenchman, given his sparsity of game-time this season despite the Irons being far from stacked in his position and the meagre impression he has made whenever called upon.
The 6 foot 4 defender has displayed glimpses of brilliance during his four-year stay in east London, with Jose Mourinho even referring to him as “a monster” after one of his performances against the Portuguese’s Manchester United side in the early weeks of the 2018/19 season.
Therefore, whilst this news may come as a disappointment to some West Ham supporters, the move would probably be in the best interests of both parties, and it’s little wonder that Whelan is predicting that Diop’s four-year stint with the Hammers could soon reach its denouement.
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