Sam Delaney: West Ham defender Issa Diop could be sold in the summer

Reliable Hammers-supporting journalist Sam Delaney has hinted that West Ham could be enticed to sell promising centre-back Issa Diop in the summer.

The 24-year-old moved to East London in 2018 for a then club-record fee of £22m and has since become a first-team regular at West Ham.

That said, he hasn’t set the world alight with his exceptional defensive displays and is still not the finished product.

Even this season he’s been a bit-part player for the Hammers and hasn’t taken his game to the next level under David Moyes.

Delaney believes that this summer will be the ideal opportunity for West Ham to cash in on the defender.

Speaking to Roshane Thomas on The Athletic’s ‘U Irons’ podcast, he said, “I think from West Ham’s point of view, considering that we never have much money to spend, who does? And if we want to make some decent signings, we’re going to have to sell.

“To me, he’s a prime candidate because usually, we sell players who don’t have much value. So really, it’s just an exercise in getting them off of the wage bill.

“But you look at Diop’s age you sort of think he’s someone who can still fetch a reasonable fee for but he is not first choice.”

Makes sense

While Diop is continuing to improve, he’s not the finished product and we’re not sure when he will be.

A number of players have improved under Moyes and thrived in this system. Diop unfortunately, is not one of them.

That’s what it would be in the interest of both parties to ensure that the defender is shown the door at the end of the season.

It’s not that it will be hard to find suitors for him willing to pay us north of £22m, even though one would argue that it’s still a tad high for a player still to prove himself consistently.

Metro reported in March last year that Arsenal and Manchester United were also looking at the player while The Athletic have stated that Liverpool inquired about him when they were looking to sign defenders in the January window.

All three will be looking for centre-backs this summer, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the links emerge again come June and July.

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