Issa Diop was one of Manuel Pellegrini’s host of new arrivals this summer and has settled down impressively in recent weeks.
After a shaky start, much like the club in general, it felt like Diop really arrived last month. The 3-1 victory over Manchester United was when he truly arrived; it was the team’s best performance and his best individual one.
After that, he was the subject of praise from under-fire United boss Jose Mourinho and he has now offered his response.
It was typically understated and shows the player has not let himself get carried away.
What did he say?
Mourinho, who himself was in the market for a strong, commanding centre-half like Diop in the summer, was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying, ““(He had a) fantastic match.
“Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop – a monster who dominated in the duels.”
By way of response, Diop told French publication La Depeche du Midi recently, “Honestly, yes it’s nice but hey, he’s not my coach so that’s it. I keep my head on my shoulders and I stay myself.”
Mourinho’s comments were quite clearly a thinly veiled attempt to woo Diop ahead of the January transfer window; but the Frenchman did not rise to the bait.
He showed he is committed to the Hammers and also that his attitude is humble and focused; that is sure to please the fans, moving forward.