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West Ham monster Issa Diop has golden chance after Angelo Ogbonna blow

West Ham boss David Moyes has big shoes to fill after the international break after Angelo Ogbonna suffered a major injury blow at the weekend.

Ogbonna blow

The 33-year-old centre-back sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during the Irons’ 3-2 win over Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and he is set to see a specialist this week to find out the extent of the damage.

If it’s serious, he could be ruled out for at least nine months and as explained by The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas, it’s certainly a “huge blow” to David Moyes and the club’s ambitions this season.

He must find a solution.

Who should start in the absence of Ogbonna?





Opportunity knocks

Luckily, though, he has the perfect replacement already in his ranks in Issa Diop.

Ogbonna has remained a dependable figure for four different managers in east London, having racked up over 200 appearances in over six years at the club.

A runner-up for the ‘Player of the Year’ award in 2019/20, only once has he played fewer than 29 times in any league campaign for the Hammers.

“Losing Ogbonna is a massive blow. He carried on playing, we didn’t think it would be that bad. We’re thinking of next season already. It’s bad news. Tactically, he is brilliant — a typical Italian. He organises, communicates and understands the game well,” an inside source revealed to The Athletic.

He had started all 11 of their top-flight outings thus far, so his absence will certainly be felt but why should it be Diop over Craig Dawson? The veteran was the Italian’s preferred partner before the arrival of Champions League winner Kurt Zouma.

A byproduct of the Frenchman coming in has been the surge in form from his fellow countryman, who was described as a “colossus” by assistant manager Stuart Pearce after their Carabao Cup win over Manchester United.

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Can you name all 10 ex-Hammers? First up... He assisted the first goal at the London Stadium but made only 8 appearances for the Irons, who is he?

The 24-year-old beast, now valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, was once dubbed a “monster” by ex-Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho for a similarly dominating display against the Old Trafford giants back in 2018.

Moyes has often opted for the experienced head of Dawson but Zouma and Diop would be a partnership to be feared.

In that win over United, the former Toulouse star recorded a match-high seven clearances and completely nullified Anthony Martial, whilst he has also delivered regularly in the Europa League alongside the Englishman.

Diop’s 2.5 tackles per game in Europe is only bettered by Declan Rice (2.8) and as Ogbonna makes the most tackles of any of his central defensive options, as per WhoScored, it would make sense to go for a like-for-like replacement.

It’s a golden chance for the Manuel Pellegrini signing to shine, even if Ogbonna’s absence presents Moyes with a massively cruel setback.

AND in other news, “On the radar”: ExWHUemployee drops West Ham transfer claim that’ll leave fans buzzing

Article title: West Ham monster Issa Diop has golden chance after Angelo Ogbonna blow

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