Take Newcastle’s money and run West Ham as Magpies reportedly make bid for the Hammers centre-back Issa Diop.
Newly minted Newcastle ere said to be preparing a January transfer window swoop for West Ham defender Diop.
That’s according to today’s edition of L’Equipe.
Newcastle and West Ham both need to bolster their defensive options for very different reasons.
The Hammers are once again pushing for Champions League qualification and are in the last 16 of the Europa League. But they have lost Angelo Ogbonna for the season and first choice West Ham partner Kurt Zouma until at least February.
Newcastle have conceded the most goals in the Premier League and Eddie Howe needs to address that if the Magpies have any chance of staying up.
According to L’Equipe Howe sees West Ham’s Diop as the man to do that.
The former France youth international is David Moyes’s fourth choice centre-back with everyone fit.
But given the injury situation at West Ham, the reported Newcastle target has been given an extended run in the side of late.
And he has yet again failed to step up and prove he can consistently get back to the form of his debut season when he was labelled a “monster” by Jose Mourinho and valued at £75m by West Ham.
Take Newcastle’s money and run West Ham as Magpies make bid for Issa Diop
Diop divides opinion among some supporters at West Ham, with many believing a long-term partnership with Zouma could bring the best out in him.
But West Ham should take Newcastle’s money and run while the offer is there.
Moyes should get a defensive signing lined up – with the likes of Nat Phillips linked – and sell Diop knowing he could then look to bring another defender in if needed or bide his time until the summer and nab James Tarkowski on a free.
If West Ham can get a decent fee for Diop from Newcastle they should not hesitate to sell.
The 24-year-old has had so many chances to prove he can be a top defender.
But Diop has never been able to consistently hit those heights since, despite working with two top defensive coaches in Moyes and assistant boss Stuart Pearce.
He’s good for the odd goal at the other end of the pitch. And when he is fully focused he does look impressive on occasion.
But his lapses in concentration, rash decision and lackadaisical episodes have been directly responsible for so many goals.
The win over Crystal Palace was another example of Diop costing West Ham goals. He lost his man for the first and rushed out committing a poor foul on the edge of the box then failed to deal with the cross from the ensuing free-kick for the second.
He seems a popular member of the squad. But sometimes players need a move to refocus and he will never be anything more than a squad player under Moyes at West Ham.
That’s not to say he couldn’t be a success at Newcastle. He’s much better than what the Geordies have and a change of scenery could bring the best out in him.