West Ham defender Issa Diop could be set to change his international allegiance from France to Morocco in search of regular international football, according to reports from France and Africa.
The Hammers defender is France-born but is eligible to represent both Senegal and Morocco internationally due to his heritage through his father and mother respectively.
The 24-year-old central defender is a France youth international and has been capped at under-16 level all the way through to the France under-21s.
He made his debut for France’s under-21s in a qualification game for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship against Ukraine in 2016 but has yet to make his senior debut for France.
However, as competition for places remains heavy and he remains too old to feature at youth level, Diop looks set to switch his international allegiance in order to improve the likelihood that he would feature in major international competitions.
“I have always said that I will only play for France and for no-one else.
“Whether I’m selected or even if I’m never selected with the seniors, I will not play for another country. I was born in France, it’s France that I have everything for, so I do not see why I would play for another country.”
Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Clement Lenglet and Aymeric Laporte are just some of the defenders that could be ahead of Diop in the pecking order under Didier Deschamps’ plans.
Consequentially, an allegiance switch could be the only chance Diop has to play at a senior level internationally, barring a surge in indomitable form.
In that view, it is hard not to empathise with Diop’s ambitious decision.