Leicester City could secure their ideal heir to former club captain Wes Morgan this summer after being linked with a move for West Ham United defender Issa Diop.
According to the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old centre-back is on Leicester’s wish list as Brendan Rodgers looks to add strength in depth to his defence.
The Foxes have been in the market for a new central defender all summer following Morgan’s retirement, and a serious injury picked up by Wesley Fofana has further increased their need for reinforcements.
After departing boyhood club Toulouse in a £22m deal three years ago, Diop settled into life on English shores well, quickly establishing himself in the Irons’ starting XI. The 6 ft 3 gem made 33 Premier League appearances in his debut campaign, earning numerous plaudits from impressed onlookers, including then-Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
“Their centre-backs had a fantastic match,” said Mourinho following the Hammers’ 3-1 victory over United back in 2018. “Congratulations to the scout who found Diop, a monster who dictated everything.”
However, the former France under-21 defender has struggled to build on his early promise in east London. The likes of Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna moved ahead of Diop in David Moyes’ pecking order last season, limiting the youngster to just 15 top-flight starts.
It’s led to speculation that Diop could seek pastures new this summer, and the King Power Stadium could be the ideal destination for him.
Morgan’s decision to hang up his boots has left a sizeable gap in the Leicester backline, while Rodgers has cultivated an enviable reputation of developing promising young talent throughout his managerial career.
The Foxes legend proved to be a no-nonsense centre-half during his time at the club, notably averaging 4.2 headers won and 4.7 clearances per game in the 2018/19 season. In the same campaign, the West Ham giant won 2.3 headers and made 3.7 clearances per match, also illustrating his reliability at the back.
The combination of a new challenge, regular game-time and working under the Northern Irishman could be the perfect cocktail that Diop needs to rediscover his best form.
Therefore, Leicester director of football Jon Rudkin must swoop for the Frenchman in the current transfer window, providing Rodgers will the squad depth required to fight on multiple fronts and giving him a worthy heir to club legend Morgan.