“West Ham, for me, is still not a springboard to go elsewhere, it’s the club where I want to try to become the best defender I can be, compared to my qualities.”
Those were the words of Issa Diop in a recent interview with France Football via Sport Witness, and following a breakthrough season with the Hammers in his first year in the Premier League that attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United according to Sky Sports News, it is highly encouraging that Diop seems committed to playing for West Ham.
Having signed for a then club-record fee of £22m according to BBC Sport, Diop has more than proved his worth in just a single season with West Ham, playing all but five games for the club as appearance numbers from Transfermarkt show and putting on Man of the Match performances against the likes of Tottenham.
Indeed, the 22-year-old French centre-back has been a smash hit in east London and a sign that Manuel Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos are taking the club in a positive direction when it comes to new signings, and for Diop in particular, the defender has all the hallmarks to become a cult hero for the Hammers.
Having admitted himself that he wants to continue his development at West Ham and strive to become the best defender at the club, an accolade he could already realistically have in the current squad, Diop is a player who can be a part of the Hammers furniture for years to come.
Fans already adore the youngster, and Diop, in turn, loves the West Ham faithful, naming them the best supporters in the country when speaking to FootMercato via the Evening Standard, and with Pellegrini having aims of taking the club to European football, the French defender can be a vital element in this long-term goal for the Hammers boss.