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Pellegrini backs Diop to make the right impression with Hammers

By June 21, 2018No Comments

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident the ‘pace and power’ of club-record signing Issa Diop can help the defender make an impact in the Premier League.

The Irons have been quick to bolster the squad during the summer window, which has seen Pellegrini take charge following the departure of David Moyes at the end of the previous campaign.

Full-back Ryan Fredericks has come in from Fulham on a free transfer, before West Ham this week added two new additions.

Diop’s reported £22million switch from Toulouse was swiftly followed by confirmation Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski would be joining from relegated Swansea.

Centre-back Diop came through the youth ranks at Toulouse, and the 21-year-old centre-back had been attracting interest from several clubs across Europe.

Pellegrini has no doubts the defender can prove himself a promising acquisition in the hustle-and-bustle of English top-flight football.

Pellegrini backs Diop to make the right impression with Hammers PLZ Soccer
Manuel Pellegrini has moved quickly to strengthen his squad after taking over at West Ham (Steve Paston/PA Images)

“Issa is a defender with great talent and character. He is only 21, but he has already established himself as a key player over a period of time with Toulouse,” Pellegrini told whufc.com.

“We believe he has defensive qualities that will be well suited to the Premier League – pace, power and a sharp concentration – and I also feel he will complement the other central defenders we have.

“We know that many other top clubs in England and Europe were keen to sign him, so it was important that we moved quickly to complete the deal.”

Pellegrini believes Fabianski will also prove a valuable asset, the Pole having penned a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee and set to contest the number one jersey with Adrian.

The Irons boss said: “With Lukasz, we have secured a proven Premier League goalkeeper who has great experience at this level.

“We believe he has a number of good years ahead of him – hopefully his best – and there is no doubt that he will give us excellent competition for the number one spot.

“It is important, as a Premier League club, to have strong goalkeepers who can push each other and we have that dynamic with Lukasz and Adrian now.”

West Ham, who open the new Premier League season at Liverpool, have also been linked with a move for Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson from Lazio – which if completed is expected to again break the club record transfer fee.