Fulham are close to securing a £15 million deal for West Ham United star Issa Diop.

According to the reliable journalist, Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, Premier League newcomers Fulham are set to land West Ham United defender Issa Diop for £15 million.

The Frenchman came through the ranks at Toulouse before moving to the Premier League by joining the Hammers in 2018. Diop received plenty of game time early in his tenure in east London and showed off his immense potential. Unfortunately, injuries and a lack of consistency saw him struggle to develop into a world-class player.

Now 25, he is entering his prime, and a new challenge could help rekindle his career. Marco Silva’s Fulham side impressed in their season opener against Liverpool, but their defensive depth leaves much to be desired.

A centre-back is on the agenda despite the loan signing of Shane Duffy, and they appear to have landed their man in Diop. An agreement has already been reached between both the London clubs and the player will soon undergo his medicals at Craven Cottage. Unless there is a late twist in the tale, he will be a Cottager soon.

Despite landing Duffy on loan, Fulham’s centre-back options are far from reliable. Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream will enjoy minutes this season, but neither of them are what one calls reliable, especially not in the Premier League. Fulham were also close to landing Leicester City star Jannik Vestergaard, only for the player to reject the move.

A towering presence, Diop has defensive awareness and the physicality to hold his own at the back. Silva will be landing himself a player who still possesses the potential but will need some guidance to embrace his gifts. Diop did not play in West Ham’s season opener against Manchester City and speaking after the game, David Moyes refused to give much away regarding the defender’s situation.

The 25-year-old now looks set to continue his development at Craven Cottage, with a five-year deal agreed with Fulham. His legacy at West Ham will be of being English football’s first concussion substitute. However, he still has age on his side and could yet turn his career around with Fulham.

The Cottagers are landing themselves a player rich in potential but rough around the edges. Whether the Frenchman will rise to the occasion and prove himself to be a dependable top-level star remains to be seen. If Fulham are to retain their Premier League status next season, Diop will have a big role to play.

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