August 18, 2020
Manchester United have received a boost regarding their interest in West Ham United central defender Issa Diop, although that interest seemed to be last summer with little interest in the player this summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were linked to Diop last summer with the Hammers seeking £75 million for the French defender, which was a massive fee for a player that had not yet been capped by his country at senior level. The Sun has reported that the player could be available for £45 million this summer.
It is expected that United will be looking to strengthen their defence this summer as the club has been linked with Nathan Ake, who signed for Manchester City, Gabriel Magalhaes, who is linked to both Arsenal and Napoli and Pau Torres, despite links not being duplicated in the past three weeks or so. It would seem that Victor Lindelof may not be trusted by the manager long-term and could be set for a new role as a squad player at the Old Trafford club.
The 23-year-old made 35 appearances for the Hammers during the 2019/20 season, scoring three goals and one assist. It was suggested that Solskjaer was seeking a left-footed player in the centre of defence this summer, with Diop being right-footed, possibly not the player that United need right now. Diop signed for the Hammers in the summer of 2018 and has a contract that expires in the summer of 2023, meaning the club will be able to decide the transfer fee for the player, agreeing that £75 million was too much.
Personally, I don’t think that United should be looking at Diop as the player to help secure United’s defence as with him during the past season, the Hammers conceded 54 goals in the Premier League alone, which is not great. Granted, that will not all be on him and he only made one error which led to a goal but United need to combative player to partner Harry Maguire that will be able to play the ball forwards and help United on the attack – that is not Diop.
Newspapers end up linking players to clubs all of the time, sometimes based on something, other times based on nothing. It is suggested that David Moyes wants to rebuild his West Ham squad this summer and requires the funds to do that. I would imagine that a club at the level of the Hammers would be seeking to keep their better players and build around them, although they might have to get rid of one good player in order to have the funds to continue their rebuild.
That said, it does not mean that United should be seeking to sign the player fo £45 million as it could be a big mistake. United spent £80 million on Maguire last summer and despite the club having a better season in terms of conceded goals, there is still work to be done. Diop might become a good player in the coming years but in terms of being ready to play in the UEFA Champions League, I am not convinced one bit. United should steer clear of this transfer option and not help West Ham rebuild by over paying for a player that clearly does not have a future at the club.
Written by John Walker