Issa Diop injury set back for West Ham as Hammers’ search for a striker is no clearer

West Ham defender Issa Diop was unable to play against Stockport due to injury as the club struggled to score with striker search continuing.

Issa Diop injury set back for West Ham as Hammers’ search for a striker is no clearer

Diop injury frustrations

Issa Diop have not had the best of seasons and missed a lot of football with injury and competition for places being the key reasons. The Frenchman was signed from Toulouse in a multi-million-pound deal which he would have expected to see himself play at the heart of the Hammers defence for many seasons to come.

Performances in the Premier League even saw him linked to the likes of Manchester United, however, he has recently struggled to break into the eleven with a combination of Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena being selected by David Moyes.

With West Ham facing lower league opposition Stockport in the FA Cup it was expected that Diop may get some minutes, however, injury would prevent this. Assistant manager Alan Irvine confirmed this after the game.

Issa Diop injury set back for West Ham as Hammers’ search for a striker is no clearer

ROMFORD, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Angelo Ogbonna of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green on March 6, 2020 in Romford, England. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

“He felt a little bit of a problem yesterday but said he was okay, and actually we did the work yesterday with Issa in the team. We came up last night and he was still not 100% sure that he was okay.”

“We checked him again this morning and at that point, the decision was made that he wasn’t quite ready to play. So that was disappointing for Issa and disappointing for us because it would have been a good opportunity for him to get a game.”

West Ham face Burnley and West Brom in the league before a 4th round tie against Doncaster where Diop will hope to feature and get his place back in the starting eleven.

Striker desperation

West Ham’s need for a striker is growing after the side just scraped through against Stockport with defender Craig Dawson scoring late on.

Despite David Moyes selecting a strong side with the likes of Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini present, they were unable to break through the stubborn League Two side’s defence.

It is growing evidently clear that before the end of the January window, West Ham should look to bring in extra reinforcement and a goalscorer should they want to progress further up the table after a good start to the Premier League season.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah had been linked with a move to West Ham, but Mikel Arteta has confirmed now that he will not be leaving the gunners this window and therefore David Moyes and his side will need to look for alternative options.

Issa Diop injury set back for West Ham as Hammers’ search for a striker is no clearer

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup match between Leicester City and Arsenal at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, England on 23rd September 2020. (Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Speaking after the game, assistant manager Alan Irvine said that the club were no clearer on any possible target. He said when asked of any update on the search for a striker, “Not that I’m aware of.”

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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