Issa Diop is as far away from David Moyes’ plans as ever before after the West Ham United boss chose to leave the Frenchman out of his 18-man squad to face Leeds on Friday night.
The 23-year-old had featured in each of the Irons’ available Premier League teamsheets before the east London side travelled to Elland Road, with his only omission coming as a result of testing positive for coronavirus.
Diop’s positive test forced Moyes to alter his favoured backline from the opening two games of the season, but the form of Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell since ensured there has been no room left at the inn for the £22.5m-rated centre-half to return.
A late injury to Arthur Masuaku the day before West Ham travelled to Leeds could have seen Diop granted a long-awaited recall, yet rather than looking fondly on the £67,000-per-week outcast who Manchester United were told would cost £60m just last year, Moyes moved to a four-man defence with Cresswell back on the left.
Reports at the time of the Red Devils’ interest also suggested attention was descending on the London Stadium from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona, but the days of West Ham fending off that level of interest in Diop are seemingly now a thing of the past.
According to ExWHUemployee, Moyes chose to leave Diop out of his 18-man squad to face Leeds as he simply wished to hand Craig Dawson his first seat on the bench, having opted to overlook the Watford loanee in every fixture since the defender’s arrival this summer.
No injury or issue prevented Diop from making the cut, Moyes just did not want the man Jose Mourinho once described as a “monster” for keeping his Manchester United side quiet by dominating duels up against Paul Pogba.
Diop is now as far from the West Ham line-up as he has ever been under Moyes, having been a firm fixture of the Scottish coach’s plans with 17 starts in 19 Premier League games following his return to the club last season.
Time may well be running out on his Irons career.
But that road is not for everyone, as Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and even Mr West Ham Mark Noble can testify, with the quartet boasting some of the lowest minute tallies among the Irons first-team in the top-flight thus far this term.