It seems that a new central defender is high on the list of priorities for new West Brom boss Sam Allardyce in the upcoming transfer window…
What’s the word?
According to The Sun on Sunday (December 20th, page 65), the Baggies manager is eyeing a move to sign West Ham defender Issa Diop on loan in January.
It’s claimed that the Irons are open to shifting the Frenchman out on loan and could even sanction a sale should they receive a decent offer.
It is no wonder the 66-year-old is eyeing defensive reinforcements as his first port of call as Albion are among the Premier League’s leakiest teams.
Indeed, only Leeds United (30) have conceded more goals than West Brom (29). Both are near-enough still deploying their Championship XIs, so it is hardly a surprise.
The Baggies hierarchy sold Ahmed Hegazi behind the back of former manager Slaven Bilic, and aside from Branislav Ivanovic, who is getting on a bit at 36, Allardyce has been left with vastly inexperienced players.
Diop has played 69 times in the English top-flight and 85 times in Ligue 1, as per Transfermarkt, so he certainly seems a good option to fill the void. Even more so after the Hammers once valued him at £75m amid interest from Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho once dubbed him a “monster” capable of dominating duels after he nullified the threat of Paul Pogba two years ago and whilst his current valuation of £18m suggests things haven’t gone to plan, he has still performed at a decent enough level.
Paul Robinson also told Football Insider: “Diop’s proven this season that he’s reliable, strong, very very capable and he’s been a part of West Ham’s success. He is good enough for a top-four team.”
High praise indeed.
Last season, Diop averaged 5.1 clearances, 2.5 aerials won, 1.5 interceptions and 0.8 tackles per game, via WhoScored.
Albion’s current partnership of Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea barely have a fraction of the games played of the French colossus, and neither is managing more clearances per game this term either.
Diop would be an ideal upgrade from Luke Dowling and co next month.
AND in other news, Luke Dowling heading for a familiar mistake as GIANTS eye young sensation…
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