Chelsea could make a bid for West Ham United centre-back Issa Diop in the January transfer window, as per reports. Diop has been with the Hammers since 2018, and has become one of their best players.
According to Daily Express, the centre-back could be the subject of a £40 million bid by Blues manager Frank Lampard in the winter transfer window.
Chelsea have been woeful at the back, and the addition of Diop could change the Blues’ fortunes. But, they face competition from fellow Premier League club Tottenham, whose manager Jose Mourinho, is a big fan of the 23-year-old Frenchman.
Diop, who moved from Toulouse for a fee of £22 million, has three and a half years remaining on his current deal. He has played 55 games in all competitions for West Ham United in the last two seasons.
Issa Diop – Can he solve their defensive woes?
Diop has got praise for his performances over the last one and half seasons for West Ham in the Premier League, and is rated as one of the best young defenders in the league.
The Frenchman is a quick defender who can get in and make key interceptions and tackles, while also being physically strong. He has averaged 1.5 interceptions and 1.2 tackles per game in the Premier League this season, and has managed 3.7 clearances per game on an average as well.
Diop is also strong in the air, winning an average of 2.5 aerial duels per game in the Premier League. He is good on the deck as well as very good in the air, while showcasing good passing abilities as well.
He could turn into a complete defender who can boss and bully attackers, while also create attacks from the back, a la Kalidou Koulibaly. Chelsea have struggled at the back this season, conceding 29 goals in 21 games – not league winning defensive form.
Diop could form a strong partnership with Antonio Rudiger at the back, who is Chelsea’s best central defender. The signing of Diop also gives Lampard the option of playing three central defenders at the back, with the likes of Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori options that the Chelsea boss can use.
The 23-year old could be a sensible investment, as he is still young and has already impressed in the league for West Ham.