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Mourinho could count Diop cost this weekend

Issa Diop and Jose Mourinho have a storied history.

The West Ham central defender has been the apple of the Portuguese’s eye for some time, going back to the time he was in charge of Manchester United.

Back then, Mourinho congratulated Hammers’ scouts for finding the Frenchman and bringing him to England.

Now, of course, the discourse has changed somewhat.

Diop isn’t a guaranteed starter anymore and is only likely to be in the team this weekend because of an injury to Angelo Ogbonna.

Fabian Balbuena could be fit but Diop was so impressive against Sheffield United, in a game in which he scored, it would be harsh to drop him.

We reported in January that Mourinho remains a big fan of Diop.

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He was weighing up a potential bid but opted against it as Spurs kept their powder dry.

Now, this weekend, he will be hoping Diop does not again turn in a big performance against one of his teams.

He surely does wish that he had the 24-year-old in his ranks.

Spurs, after all, have kept just one clean sheet in nine games – before the Europa League game with Wolfsberger – and have conceded five to Everton, three to Manchester City, and even once to Wycombe.

With the Hammers aware they can move nine points clear of Mourinho’s men with a win this weekend, Diop will be out to show exactly why Mourinho rates him so highly.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.