West Ham kept their second clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Newcastle United.

It was a confidence-boosting victory for West Ham, and especially for the new-look defence, at a notoriously intimidating St James’ Park.

West Ham have two new centre-backs in defence this season and both Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena are impressing, despite leaking goals.

Their performance against Newcastle rightfully drew a lot of praise from Hammers fans.

Here, we look at both players’ statistics from the game (as sourced from Who Scored) and analyse just how good they can be for West Ham.

Issa Diop

Issa Diop’s tackling ability helped to nullify the Newcastle attack. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Diop was presented with a unique challenge at the weekend as he was tasked with keeping physical centre-forward Salomon Rondon quiet.

But the 21-year-old was up to the physical battle, using his 6ft 4in frame to win four aerials duels.

The France under-21 international also demonstrated that he is an accomplished all-round central defender.

With six tackles and five clearances, Newcastle’s attack found it hard to break down the West Ham defence.


Fabian Balbuena

Fabian Balbuena shackled Salomon Rondon effectively. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Balbuena continued his excellent form this season by contributing towards West Ham’s second shut-out of the campaign.

The General, who stands at 6ft 2in tall, showed his aerial prowess with three aerial duels won.

And his other defensive statistics once again stood out, showing that it is no surprise he ranks among the top performing defenders by numbers in the league.

With six tackles, three interceptions and a staggering 12 clearances, there was no getting past the Paraguay international on Saturday.

The Verdict

Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena have already struck a relationship at the back. (Photo credit:BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Diop joined West Ham from Toulouse in the summer for a reported £22m fee. Meanwhile, Balbuena moved from Corinthians for just £3.5m, as per The London Evening Standard.

For a combined total of £25.5m, West Ham look to have secured a bargain new-look centre-back partnership.

With other clubs spending silly money on their new defenders, West Ham have two defenders for a relatively cheap total price.

And their relationship continues to blossom with each game that they play together.

With Diop at 21 and Balbuena at 27, West Ham have a long-term central defensive pairing on their hands.

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