At the end of the season, it is time to reflect. There are positives and negatives in equal measure for West Ham to consider over the summer.
But one bright spark to emerge from this season is Issa Diop. The young defender has exceeded all expectations and has become a key member of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans.
And his attitude, mentality, physical prowess and willingness to improve are all factors which indicate how much potential he truly has.
Issa Diop’s self-assessment
Diop has enjoyed an impressive individual campaign. Considering his age and the fact that he is adjusting to life in a new country, the 22-year-old has proven to be a shrewd purchase.
He speaks with measured sense and his humility stands him in good stead for the future. His eagerness to improve also ticks all the boxes for future success.
Speaking recently to West Ham’s official website, Diop said: “I don’t think I’ve shown my best form to Manuel Pellegrini. We’ve conceded 54 goals. It’s too much.
“I need to improve everything: concentration, technique, I need to read the game better. I need to improve a lot. I’m happy but it’s never enough.”
Issa Diop could be even better next season
Diop is eager to improve and reach the next level. This season, he has been affected by a number of injuries around him, including a long-term injury for partner Fabian Balbuena.
If Balbuena and Diop stay fit next season, then West Ham’s defensive record will surely improve. Diop has the potential to become a top class player at West Ham next season.
The Hammers were not too far off European qualification by the end of this season. With Pellegrini’s style of play now imprinted in the players’ minds, West Ham’s 2019/20 campaign could be much better, especially if injuries are less of an issue.
Diop can be the leader at the back who provides a foundation for success. The Frenchman captained Toulouse at such a young age and now he can help take West Ham to the next level.