Journalist Pete O’Rourke reckons that Issa Diop has a huge opportunity to stamp his authority on the West Ham side.
The Frenchman was a regular following his £22m from Toulouse but has lost his way in the previous 18 months and is nothing more than a squad player.
But David Moyes’ side are suffering from a defensive crisis and O’Rourke thinks that Diop has a big chance to make his mark.
What is West Ham’s current situation at the back?
The addition of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea last summer meant that Moyes had four centre-backs at his disposal ahead of a busy campaign, which included at least six Europa League games.
However, the Hammers have suffered two major setbacks in recent weeks and are now down to just two senior centre-backs.
Firstly, Angelo Ogbonna sustained a serious knee injury in the victory over Liverpool last month and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
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It went from bad to worse three weeks later for Moyes when Zouma injured his hamstring against Chelsea earlier this month and could miss around 12 weeks.
Those two injuries leave Moyes with just Craig Dawson and Diop for the festive period, which includes another four Premier League games plus the Carabao Cup quarter final tie at Tottenham.
The Hammers boss will undoubtedly be hoping to add at least another centre-back to his squad when the January window opens next month.
Until then, it’s down to Dawson and Diop, who O’Rourke thinks has a massive chance to step up having spent the majority of the season watching on from the bench.
What did O’Rourke say about Diop?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a huge opportunity for Diop.
“When he first arrived at West Ham, he had lots of plaudits, lots of big clubs were looking at him as well. But things haven’t worked out as well in the last couple of seasons.”
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How has Diop performed this season away from the Premier League?
Whilst the opposition must be taken into consideration, West Ham are unbeaten with Diop in the side.
In his seven Europa League and Carabao Cup outings, the Hammers have won six, kept six clean sheets and have conceded just twice, which includes wins over Manchester City and Man United.
In Europe, Diop has been West Ham’s seventh-best player this season, whilst only Alphonse Areola, Alex Kral and Craig Dawson have outperformed him in the cup, according to WhoScored.