Issa Diop

Issa Diop
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Issa Laye Lucas Jean Diop

Current Club: West Ham United

Previous Clubs: Toulouse

Loan Clubs: N/A

International: N/A

Trophies Won: European Under 19 Championships

Diop came into the Hammers and seemed to immediately strike up a very good partnership with Fabian Balbuena, which brought a lot of interest in the French defender. Since then he has been a bit up and down with his form, not helped by a couple of niggles to him, plus injuries to his partner meaning he was not able to settle into a long term partnership.

Under Moyes things have settled down and he has returned to the form that he initially showed at times, whether playing in a back four or three/five that Moyes is using so much now. Unfortunately for him this season has seen him lose his place after they lost the first two in the Premier League and he has only played once since then.

While he can be excellent, he can often rely too heavily on physicality and switch off mentally. That pace and strength he has is fine against a lot of forwards, but against top tier ones it is not enough and Diop can find himself being bullied.

With his tendency to switch off at times, that can leave him caught out of position and the faster strikers Diop is not quite quick enough to catch and the stronger ones are too strong for him to muscle off the ball. It is times like that when his lack of experience, he is still only 23, show, as Diop has not yet learnt to adapt his game to his opponent.

Moyes is the type of coach to work on defending quite heavily, but he is more about organisation than individual improvements, so Diop will probably have to figure out what to do on his own. If he can figure out which forwards are too fast or strong for him to get tight to, then his game will improve in leaps and bounds.

He is certainly decent enough on the ball for a modern defender, though he does not have the greatest passing range, Diop is not going to hit those big long diagonal balls from the back that Connor Coady, for example, specialises in. Diop is comfortable and confident enough to play as part of a backline that plays out from the back, but it is not really a strength of his.

Instead he is what I would call competent. In fact that is probably a good way to sum up his overall level, a competent Premier League centre-back. You would not be panicking about him being your centre-back but Diop does not inspire that confidence in his performance that a really top class defender does.

Requested by - Deependra


Written by Ed001 December 04 2020 12:27:39