Olympique Lyon v West Ham United: Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Europa League

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Issa Diop comes of age for West Ham against Lyon in the Europa League

Issa Diop came of age for West Ham against Lyon in the Europa League at The Groupama Stadium tonight.

The 25-year-old was drafted into the starting lineup in place of the injured Kurt Zouma.

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Many Hammers fans feared the worst after watching Diop put in some calamitous performances this season.

David Moyes obviously had faith in the former Toulouse ace, however. We all know what he is capable of.

After arriving at the London Stadium in the summer of 2018 for around £25 million ((The Express), Diop was one of the very best central defenders in the Premier League during his debut season.

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

The 25-year-old experienced a poor 2020/21 campaign though and has been nowhere near his best during the first seven months of this season.

He turned all of that around tonight, however, with a magnificent performance against Lyon.

Diop comes of age for West Ham with superb display against Lyon

Despite a rash challenge from the towering centre-back inside the first-half, and a subsequent booking, he was utterly commanding and dominating throughout.

The 25-year-old had 29 touches and made one interception and five clearances. Diop won two aerial duels and recorded a completion rate of 85.7% from 30 attempted passes (Who Scored).

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

He showed fantastic maturity after the booking that he received in the first-half and played with a real kind of composure that we haven’t seen too often from him, certainly not over the past 18 months anyway.

West Ham will be heavily reliant on Diop between now and the end of the season with Zouma expected to be out injured for at least four weeks.

His performance in the Groupama Stadium tonight will be a huge confidence boost for him.

Diop rose up for West Ham when we really needed him against Lyon and he really proved his mettle.

Issa came of age in France tonight. Hopefully he continues the form that he displayed tonight between now and the end of the season.

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