Sky Sports pundit Darren Bent has slammed West Ham centre-back Issa Diop for his disappointing performances this season.
Diop, 22, has been a mainstay in Manuel Pellegrini’s defence this term completing every minute in each of the Hammers’ five matches across all competitions.
West Ham have kept clean sheets in their last two matches against Newport County and Norwich City but ex-Tottenham striker Bent is still not impressed with the way the London side has defended.
In an interview with Football Insider, Bent was asked which West Ham player has disappointed him more than any other this season.
He claims that Diop has been the biggest letdown.
“The centre backs, they’ve been so ropey at the back. It’s hard to single one of them out because they’ve all played their part,” Bent said.
“West Ham’s frailties are at the back, going forward they are okay. Diop’s played the most games, that’s what I was thinking. I’d say Diop.”
Diop has been the only centre-back to play every game so far this season with Pellegrini switching between Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop to partner the Frenchman in the heart of his defence. It has been tough for Pellegrini to find the best pairing out of his centre-backs options because all of them are at a fairly similar level at the moment except Diop is much younger and is still someone who can improve over the next couple of seasons. To say he has been the most disappointing player at West Ham this term is perhaps a bit harsh by Bent but you can understand where he is coming from because the 22-year-old has been the only regular fixture at centre-back. Maybe Pellegrini should one day try out Balbuena and Ogbonna together, but for now, the best pairing seems to be Diop and Ogbonna, who kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win against Norwich in the last game before the international break.