West Ham United manager David Moyes could finally axe Issa Diop by signing Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall in this final week of the January transfer window.
According to The Athletic, the Hammers remain interested in signing the 25-year-old before transfer deadline day next Monday as Moyes looks to bolster his centre-back options.
Were Worrall to arrive at the London Stadium, it would allow Moyes to call time on Diop’s career at the club amid recent speculation that fellow Premier League side Newcastle are interested in signing the 25-year-old.
The Frenchman’s performance in recent weeks amid the Hammers’ injury troubles in defence have left a lot to be desired – not least his display against Leeds United earlier this month when the London side lost 2-3.
As per Sofascore, Diop was dribbled past twice over the course of the 90 minutes, the most of any player on the pitch, while he also looked extremely shaky on the ball, losing possession ten times and completing just one of his four attempted long passes.
It was no surprise that he duly came in for some big criticism from some sections of the Hammers’ fanbase, with a few calling for him to be dropped and pining for the return of his fellow Frenchman Kurt Zouma.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Football.London, Tom Clark gave Diop a three, saying: “Should have done better with Leeds’ second goal where Luke Ayling ran off him and nodded down an assist for Harrison. Fortunate Mateusz Klich’s goal was disallowed after letting Raphinha get away from him too easily.”
In fact, his 6.45 average match rating from WhoScored in the Premier League this year ranks him as the worst-performing West Ham player of those who have started more than five games for the club.
In Worrall, the Hammers would be getting someone who is very much an old-school rugged and reliable defender who looks a perfect fit for the physicality and intensity of the Premier League.
As per Whoscored, Worrall has averaged two interceptions and two tackles per game in the Championship this season, while he is also making a whopping 3.7 clearances and one block per match too, placing him in the top five for each metric when compared to his teammates.
During his time at Rangers, then-Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard was a big fan of the defender and waxed lyrical about him in 2019, saying: “I thought Joe Worrall was outstanding. What a big goal to keep his team in the cup. It was a Man of the Match performance, and he will be a captain of whatever team he plays for. He is a leader and he stepped up today.”
The 6 foot 4 beast’s arrival could finally signal the end of Diop’s time at the London Stadium.