Issa Diop’s disastrous debut for Fulham in a cup defeat to League Two strugglers Crawley sees West Ham refund question raised.
It had been widely publicised for much of the summer that West Ham had an agreement in place to sell Diop to Fulham and that the player himself wanted to leave having become the club’s fourth and fifth choice centre-back.
The likes of L’Equipe claim a deal was agreed with the Cottagers some time ago but Hammers boss David Moyes – understandably – hit pause on the move following the pre-season injury to £30m new signing Nayef Aguerd.
Diop was reportedly unhappy at West Ham’s stance as he was keen to kickstart his stuttering career with newly-promoted London rivals Fulham.
Diop eventually got his wish as Fulham recently announced the signing for a fee believed to be around £15m.
The centre-back put in some woeful displays for West Ham last season, notably against Leeds and Kidderminster Harriers.
But he has always divided opinion after a stellar first season with the Hammers during which he was famously labelled a “monster” by Jose Mourinho and was reportedly valued at £75m by the Hammers.
Diop swapped east for west London and said new boss Marco Silva would be a good fit for him.
However things have not started well for the former Hammer at his new club.
That’s after Diop’s disastrous debut for Fulham in a cup defeat to League Two strugglers Crawley sees West Ham refund question raised.
Fulham lost 2-0 to Crawley in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night with Diop lambasted for his display.
The ex West Ham star looked well off the pace as the side second bottom of the entire Football League put him and Fulham to the sword.
Diop was described as a fish out of water by some Cottagers fans and was even criticised for a lack of effort and desire.
Cottagers website Fulham-ish gave Diop a match rating of 2/10, the second worst on the team.
“Issa Diop – My word, a debut to forget for our £15m signing,” Fulham-ish stated.
“Looked completely out of his depth against League Two opposition. In fairness, West Ham fans did warn us about some of his previous cup performances against Kidderminster and AFC Wimbledon. Was ok-ish in possession, but some of his defending was comical, particularly the second goal. The only way is up?! 2/10.”
Social media was awash with clips of Diop on his debut and many Fulham supporters raised the question over whether the club had kept the receipt for a refund from West Ham on the ex France Under 21 star.
Highlights from Sky Sports show Diop being easily beaten on several occasions.
And to compound a debut to forget, the former Hammer was booked for taking down goalscorer James Balagizi after he had tricked his way past Fulham’s new £15m man.
There were a minority of West Ham fans who felt Moyes was giving up on Diop too soon.
But on this evidence West Ham definitely made the right call.
It is the small matter of Arsenal and the in-form Gabriel Jesus up next for Diop and Fulham.