By 90Min
July 01, 2018

West Ham United have apparently signed a gem in new £22m signing Issa Diop, according to French football expert Johnathan Johnson.

The 21-year-old defender has been praised for his performances for hometown club Toulouse in recent seasons, having made 85 league appearances for his club since 2015.

Speaking to the Express, Johnson described Diop as "pretty much one of the only bright lights in Toulouse these last couple of seasons."


Diop made 34 appearances in Ligue 1 in 2017/18, as Toulouse survived relegation through the play-off with Ajaccio. He became club captain in October, after having first worn the armband in April 2017.

Johnson said: "He's had a number of years of Ligue 1 experience for somebody so young.

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"I think Toulouse have done very well to get the money they have got from West Ham for him but it's not a surprise to see him move on. He's been a highly-rated prospect for a while now."

French under-21 international Diop has become new boss Manuel Pellegrini's second summer signing, after the free transfer of English defender Ryan Fredericks from Fulham.

AFP Contributor/GettyImages

According to Johnson, there were a number of clubs interested in Diop back in France, but the player felt he was at the right stage in his career to make the move abroad.

"There were a number of French clubs who wanted him as well but he felt it was the right time to move abroad."

It remains to be seen whether 21-year-old Diop can adapt well to the Premier League, and carry on his form from Toulouse into his Hammers career, but Johnson believes he's a top-quality player that has all the right suggestions about him.

Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Johnson added: "I think West Ham have picked up a good signing here, he's got a well-rounded game and I think he's got the makings of a future France international.

"In order for that to happen he had to leave Toulouse, a team that needed the money. It was the best offer that came in from West Ham."

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