Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in signing West Ham United central defender Issa Diop. The 22-year-old defender joined the London club from Toulouse last summer and had a fantastic debut season, even earning praise from Jose Mourinho, when the current Spurs manager was the man in charge of Manchester United.
As per Sky Sports, the North London club consider Diop to be a “long-term replacement for Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld”. The Hammers won’t allow the defender to leave the club without receiving a significant transfer fee, and they are reportedly holding out for a fee of around £50 million.
Diop moved to West Ham from Toulouse for around £22 million and has impressed so far. His contract with the Hammers expires only in 2023, with the player having signed a five-year deal when he joined the club. Diop has made over 50 appearances for the Hammers in one and a half seasons.
Issa Diop: Top option for Jose?
Issa Diop is one of the most promising young central defenders in the Premier League currently, one that is poised to make it to the top. The Frenchman is a dominating defender who is great in the air, averaging 2.4 aerial duels won per game this season. Diop is also quick to make interceptions and close down opponents, while also being strong in the tackle.
He has averaged 1.2 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game this season in the league, showing great tenacity in an under-performing West Ham team. Diop has also averaged 3.5 clearances in the league this season, showing that he takes charge of situations at the back.
Spurs have used Davinson Sánchez and Toby Alderweireld at the back this season, but they will need to sign at least one central defender in the next few transfer windows. Alderweireld has signed a new deal, but compatriot Jan Vertonghen hasn’t, which leaves them thin at the back. Diop could be a solid signing for Spurs, who need a strong defender like him to bolster the backline.
Diop also has age on his side as he is just 22 and still has a lot to offer, and perhaps improve even more. The north London club should certainly pursue his signature, and he would improve their defence. Spurs have looked light at the back this season with lack of aggression definitely one of the concerns for Jose who might be looking at solving that issue with potential interest in Issa Diop.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored