Kevin Nolan raved about the abilities of West Ham defender Issa Diop after being asked how good the centre-back was.
The former Hammers captain and Sky Sports pundit was asked on Tuesday to sum up how good the Frenchman was in 10 seconds and Nolan suggested the defender has justified why all the top clubs wanted him in the summer.
“Quality, that’s the reason why all the top clubs were talking about buying him in the summer,” said Nolan on Football Centre (10:56am, Tuesday, September 24th).
“He’s been a great buy and has slotted in really well next to Ogbonna.”
France Football reported in the summer that Manchester United offered two players in order to tempt West Ham into selling Diop, while TeamTalk claimed Arsenal were priced out of making a move for the centre-back as it would have taken up to £80million to sign him.
Manchester United’s pursuit of Diop was well-documented, but it wasn’t like he was linked to every top club in Europe this past summer. Then again perhaps Nolan has heard otherwise. However whatever the case, the Hammers managed to hold onto the centre-back and that was a smart decision. The 22-year-old has proven to be an important member of Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season as he has featured in all of the Hammers’ Premier League games so far. Diop has averaged 1.3 tackles per game, 1.7 interceptions per match and has averaged a very impressive 3.3 clearances per match in order to help the Hammers improve their defensive record this season (Source: WhoScored). West Ham have started to look more solid at the back this season, partly down to Diop’s displays, as while they did concede five goals to Man City on the opening day of the season, they’ve only let in two goals in the five league games that have followed.