West Ham announce club-record £22million defender signing

Date published: Tuesday 19th June 2018 6:57 - Robert McCarthy

West Ham have announced the club-record signing of Toulouse defender Issa Diop on five-year contract.

The 21-year-old centre-back joins the Hammers for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £22million.

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic English club, and I hope to show my best here,” said the France Under-21 international.

“I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

New boss Manuel Pellegrini has already brought in Fulham full-back Ryan Fredericks this summer as he attempts to bolster the club’s defensive ranks.

The signing of Diop – who was made captain of Toulouse aged just 20 – comes amid interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.

West Ham director of football Mario Husillos said: “Issa is a player with fantastic potential who has already shown great quality at such a young age.

“He has represented France at every youth level up to the under-21s and we believe that he is now ready to make the next step in his career by moving to the Premier League with West Ham United.

“There were many other big clubs interested in signing Issa and we are delighted that he has chosen to join us. We look forward to hopefully seeing him make a big impact next season.”

Diop, who has risen through the youth ranks at Toulouse, made 34 appearances in Ligue 1 last season as they finished a lowly 18th.


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