Issa Diop aims to enjoy another top season after impressing observers across the board last term..
And he believes that although he is still short of the finished article he is learning all the time from one of the best managers in world football – Manuel Pellegrini.
He is also grateful to have the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna in the squad – players he will continue to lean on for advice in the year ahead.
Speaking at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2019/july/08-july/diop-im-ready-build-what-ive-learned he said: “I just want to play a lot of games and play well.”
“I learned a lot from the manager last year. He is a very big manager, he has been at very big clubs so he has a lot of experience and it’s easy to learn from him.
“We always want to finish at the top so I hope we will make a better season and finish higher than last year.
“It is very important to have the experienced players in the squad because they know everything about the league, about the football. If sometimes you don’t know something you can ask players like Pablo and he will give advice, so it’s good for us and good for the team.”
Diop was involved as the Hammers won memorable matches against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal last term, but there was one particular victory he would like to emulate when the new campaign comes around.
He added: “If I had to pick on highlight from my first year, it would be Tottenham away. That was a great game, and for me it was the best because we were the first team to score and to win in their new stadium, against a big rival too.”
ClaretandHugh says: Probably only Declan Rice impressed us more than Issa last season and the fact they are best mates is easy to understand. For these are two dedicated young professionals who seek nothing less than perfection in their games. That they have both been linked with Manchester United comes as no real surprise but that they are both clear in their determination to remain at West Ham is something to celebrate. How long is it since the best of our players have been involved in such rejection – the future is looking good. Diop arrived for £22 million and is now rated at a minimum of £50m. Given his age and that he can only get better this is a colossal player in the making and he is a perfect example of the progress this club is making in all areas. What is so eminently likeable about his interviews is that they are free of hype – telling it precisely as it is and one of those lessons he has perhaps learned from Pablo Zabaletta. He looks to have a top season ahead of him.