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West Ham: Moyes must axe Arthur Masuaku and Issa Diop

West Ham United were harbouring hopes of an unlikely Europa League triumph and with a top-six Premier League finish not out of the question, a squad refresh this summer with a handful of players could be for the good of the club.

One such figure whose head should well be on the chopping block is 25-year-old centre-back Issa Diop, with the player’s form having fallen off a cliff since those heady days when he was once touted as a potential £45m target for Manchester United.

The Hammers held firm during that summer of 2019 to quash any reported interest, although they may well be wishing they had cashed in on the Frenchman at the time, such has been his declining form in recent times.

Once described as a “monster” by Jose Mourinho, the former Toulouse man – who arrived at the London Stadium on a then-club record deal worth £22m in 2018 – has endured a frustrating and injury-hit last two campaigns, making just 15 Premier League starts in the 2020/21 season, followed by just a further ten this term.

The arrival of former Chelsea man Kurt Zouma has not helped his cause, although when the former France U21 international has been on the pitch he has failed to take his chance, with his 6.69 average match rating, as per SofaScore, the sixth-worst among the current squad.

In his 13 league outings this term, he has made just 0.5 interceptions and 0.8 tackles per game, while he’s also won just 51% of his total duels and lost possession 5.8 times per match.

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Such dismal form has seen him dubbed “shocking” by journalist Jack Rosser, while his decline has also been illustrated by his sharp drop in market value, with the £61k-per-week defender now valued at just £10.8m, having previously reached a peak of £31.5m as recently as December 2019.

A potential blessing, however, has emerged in the form of Ligue 1 outfit Lyon, with the French giants reportedly interested in securing his services this summer, meaning that the club have the chance to finally sever ties with the once-prodigious talent.

Speaking of severing ties, Diop’s fellow defender Arthur Masuaku is another man who should be on Moyes’ hitlist this summer, with the ten-cap DR Congo international – who was once dubbed “rubbish” by pundit Gary Neville – simply not cutting it at present.

The attacking left-back has failed to provide adequate competition for regular starter Aaron Cresswell, having made just six league starts this season, with the Hammers boss tending to favour up-and-comer Ben Johnson as a back-up option on the left flank.

The 28-year-old did net a stunning, albeit fluky, strike in the thrilling victory over Chelsea back in December, although that has been his solitary league goal this season – and a rare high point – while he’s only added a further one assist in the top-flight.

A way out of east London has emerged for the former Valenciennes man, however, with recent reports suggesting that Marco Silva is keen for a reunion at Fulham, having coached the £4.5m-rated man at Olympiakos.

Getting both his £43k-per-week wages – and those of his teammate’s – off the club’s books would be a huge boost this summer, with GSB able to free up roughly £104k-per-week from their two exits.

IN other news, GSB must complete WHU swoop for “unbelievable” £31.5m-rated star, Moyes will love him…

Article title: West Ham: Moyes must axe Arthur Masuaku and Issa Diop

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