Issa Diop says West Ham United not a 'springboard' for him

Issa Diop of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green on August 16, 2018 in Romford, England.

The Hammers defender enjoyed a superb debut Premier League campaign at the London Stadium.

Issa Diop of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green on August 16, 2018 in Romford, England.

West Ham United defender Issa Diop has stressed that he does not see the club as a "springboard" to go elsewhere and reiterated that he wants to become the best player he can be at the Hammers, in conversation with France Football as quoted by Goal.com.

The 22-year-old only joined West Ham last summer, signing a five-year deal following his switch from French side Toulouse for what was then a club-record fee for the East London club, reportedly for £22million (BBC Sport).

 

According to The Mirror, Diop chose to join West Ham ahead of several other Premier League teams including Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and now-relegated Fulham, jumping at the opportunity to work with Manuel Pellegrini.

Diop's first season for the Hammers was a fruitful one, impressing alongside Fabian Balbuena in the team's back line, and as such he was said to be on the radar of Manchester United before their acquisition of Harry Maguire (The Telegraph).

Issa Diop of West Ham in action during the preseason friendly between FC Winterthur and West Ham United on July 8, 2018 in Winterthur, Switzerland.

When quizzed on his future, the France Under-21 ace -  told France Football: “West Ham, for me, it was not and is still not a springboard to go elsewhere. It’s the club where I want to try to become the best defender I can be, compared to my qualities. Whether technical, tactical, physical, I still have a large margin of progression.”

Diop - who earns £67,000-per-week according to Spotrac.com - made 38 appearances across all competitions in his debut West Ham campaign and was back in Pellegrini’s side for their 2019-20 Premier League opener, a difficult game in which champions Manchester City ran out 5-0 winners.

Issa Diop of West Ham United and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch