Once described as a ‘monster’ by José Mourinho, Issa Diop remains one of the best additions to West Ham’s squad over the past year or so.
Felipe Anderson might have something to say about that, but the young Frenchman has been a constant presence under Manuel Pellegrini ever since making his debut against Arsenal, starting and finishing the next 25 games in all competition.
What could make this even better for West Ham fans is the claim that Diop, prior to signing for the Hammers, had the chance to sign for Manchester City, and turned it down.
This comes from Les Violets in France, a fan website very close to Toulouse, who looked at the relationship their side has with the current Premier League champions.
According to them, the two clubs are now ‘friends’ without having an official partnership, with the Ligue 1 club boasting a similar relationship with Manchester City to NAC Breda’s.
The Dutch side aren’t an affiliate, but there is some kind of agreement which sees Pep Guardiola send young players to the Eredivisie club, like Erik Palmer-Brown or Paolo Fernandes.
Toulouse, for example, acquired Manu Garcia on loan, and came close to selling Jean-Clair Todibo to the Cityzens before the youngster decided to move to Barcelona instead.
An ‘agreement’ had been reached between the French side’s president, Olivier Sadran, and Manchester City, and the same happened with Issa Diop.
Les Violets explain the West Ham man turned down the chance of being sold to Pep Guardiola’s side, as he would have then been loaned back to Toulouse, preferring to move to London Stadium instead to play in the Premier League immediately in a £25m move.
The rest, as they say, is history.