One of Tottenham Hotspur’s reported targets has just been made available for loan.
According to Football Insider, West Ham boss David Moyes has given the green light over Issa Diop leaving the club this transfer window as he has fallen drastically down the pecking order behind the likes of Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena and Craig Dawson.
Earlier this month, Spurs were linked with interest in the French central defender – as per respected Irons outlet Claret & Hugh, who claim Jose Mourinho is a big fan and was mulling over the prospects of making a bid.
Well, that door has just been opened as the above report suggests he’s free to leave the London Stadium on loan before the February 1st deadline, though any interested party will need to cover his £62.5k-per-week wages as well as a sizeable fee.
It’s thought that the Spurs boss would like a pacey centre-back this window, but given finances at the club and across the whole of the footballing world right now, it may not be possible to make a major splash in the next ten days.
Therefore, a swoop for the 24-year-old makes the world of sense as Mourinho would not only be getting that speedy operator, but also a player experienced in the Premier League and one that he knows all about having once dubbed him a “monster” in 2018.
After his Manchester United side were dominated by the Hammers, Mourinho told BT Sport (via the Evening Standard): “[He had a] fantastic match. Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop – a monster who dominated in the duels.”
Whilst former West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was excited by Diop’s “pace” and “power” upon arrival in east London, and also claimed he was a “great talent,” as per Sky Sports.
Indeed, the £18m-rated beast could be the short-term solution until Daniel Levy and Steve Hitchen can work out targets for the summer.
Diop may have only featured five times for 387 minutes this season, but overall, he’s made 69 appearances in Premier League and has also played 85 times in Ligue 1, which shows he’s more than adept at the elite level.
Mourinho will need to call upon his squad depth as Spurs are still competing in all four competitions available to them, and those fixtures will start to quickly rack up when the Europa League returns next month.
He clearly doesn’t trust Davinson Sanchez having snubbed him ten times since that 3-3 draw at West Ham in October, so adding Diop only makes further sense.
Throughout the course of Diop’s career, he has averaged 4.5 clearances, 1.9 interceptions, 1.9 aerial duels won and 1.5 tackles per game, via WhoScored, which all-round makes him a solid and reliable option on the face of it.
But even more so when you compare such numbers to the current options in Spurs’ squad – indeed, he’d fit right in as he’s averaging more clearances per game than Sanchez, more tackles per game than Eric Dier, and over six times as many interceptions as Toby Alderweireld this term, as per WhoScored.
Mourinho and Levy should strike in the next week. He’s available for loan, and that would suit Spurs immensely right now.
AND in other news, Sabitzer in, Alli gone: How Spurs’ XI may look after deadline day…