By 90Min
September 29, 2018

Jose Mourinho took a moment during his post-match press duties to praise West Ham's recruitment team for finding centre back Issa Diop this summer, calling the France Under-21 star 'a monster'.

Mourinho's Man Utd fell to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium in Saturday's early Premier League kick off.

Goals from Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic and one deflected in off United's own Victor Lindelof sealed the defeat, despite a neat finish from Marcus Rashford.

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Diop, who was signed by West Ham for a reported £22m from Toulouse in the summer was a key part in a resolute defence on Saturday, allowing the visitors just four shots on target.


Personally Diop made two tackles and five clearances in the match, as well as dominating in the air. The 21-year-old's display drew praise from the opposition manager.

“(Diop had a) fantastic match,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop - a monster who dominated in the duels.”

On his own side's display, the United boss was less complimentary.

He continued: “I think we needed a good start and we didn’t have that good start after the result on Tuesday. 

“The team obviously needs positive things, positive feelings and to start losing after five minutes is not a positive start that you need.”

BT pundits and Man Utd legends Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes took Mourinho's compliment as a carefully veiled 'dig' at his own scouts inability to find appropriate players this summer.

Warren Little/GettyImages

Ferdinand said (as quoted by the Metro): "Here there seems to be mini wars going on in the changing room and probably above that as well. 

"Even talking about the scouting networks who found Diop, the young centre-back for West Ham, is that a sly dig?"

Scholes added: "It’s a dig, that’s what I read into that, he’ll probably deny that but I see why he mentions that."

Speaking prior to the game, Diop's own manager insisted he has not been surprised by how quickly the centre back has adapted to life in the Premier League.

Pellegrini said (via West Ham's official website): "His performances have not come as a surprise to me because I knew him and that’s why he came here. He was also the captain of Toulouse before so he was a very mature player at a very young age."

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