After landing former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager earlier this summer, West Ham United have pulled off yet another coup as they have secured the signing of highly-rated French defender Issa Diop for £22m. The 21-year-old centre back has come on board from Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a five-year contract. What is making headlines in all West Ham News sections is the Hammers splashing out a club-record fee for the young Frenchman.
After this Latest West Ham Transfer News concerning Diop was confirmed by both clubs, he sat down for an interview with French outlet L’Equipe and spoke on a range of topics.
West Ham United News: Excerpts from the Issa Diop interview
On how it feels to move to West Ham and the Premier League
Diop has been tipped for big things and feels that his time is about to come. About his move to the most popular football league in the world, he said: “I am very happy. This is the first time in my life that I have been transferred so there is a lot of emotion as well, about leaving Toulouse and my home. This is an important step for me.”
In more West Ham Latest News, the £22m is also the highest Toulouse have ever received for any of their outgoing players. While claiming that the fact is not bothering him, Diop is very happy for his boyhood club and hopes that the money can be used wisely so as serve them well in the future.
On whether he was ever bothered by the fact that players have failed to adapt to English football in the past
“Frankly, I never ever thought of it. Not at all. I do not compare myself to other players at all. If I do not succeed, it will be my responsibility. It’s because I did not do everything to succeed,” Diop said.
“What matters to me is to put everything in place and do my best. The future will tell that will tell if I made the right call by coming to West Ham. I have the key to my future. I felt that I had to leave. It was the (right) moment.”
The former Toulouse captain made more West Ham Utd News by clearly stating that he is well armed to do well in England, although he is aware of the Premier League‘s intensity and the areas where he needs to still improve.
“Toulouse President kept his word”
When asked if there were any sort of hurdles in him leaving Toulouse or was he ever afraid of the deal falling through, Diop said: “Sincerely, no. Our president Sadran is a man of his word. Unlike his public image, he is a good guy. He is not the type of person who will break his promise and go back on his words. He always told me that I was free to leave this summer if a suitable offer arrived.”
This certainly clears all the Transfer Rumours West Ham before the move was formally announced.
On what him choose West Ham over clubs like RB Leipzig, AS Roma and Sevilla
He has only been featuring in West Ham United Transfer News for the past few weeks but Diop has been a man in demand over the past year or so, with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig even putting in a formal inquiry for his services last summer. Further, big clubs like AS Roma and Sevilla have also known to be interested. When asked if there was any particular criteria or reason that led him to pick West Ham, the 21-year-old said: “I did not have any priorities as such.
“The only criteria I had was that this club is counting on me. West Ham is a club that will make me grow and fulfill my potential in the future. The coach (Manuel Pellegrini) spoke to me, explained what he expected of me.
“I know that I will arrive in a big Championship, with very big players playing with and against me. It is a bridge that I have decided to cross. I am yet to play in the Champions League or the World Cup. In football, I have not done anything yet.
“About West Ham, I know the old and famous Upton Park stadium, all the new and big players. It’s a historic club and I am very happy to be here.”
On his progress last season
“I progressed because I played a lot. The last few years have been difficult but they have taught me many things. Like how to deal with tough times and adversity, how to lift your head during such times and how to handle the pressure, of course. Last season was formative and very useful. I learnt a lot at Toulouse,” Diop said and signed off.
WATCH: Issa Diop reveals why he chose West Ham United
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