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Diop tempted by Pellegrini link-up

Filed: Wednesday, 20th June 2018
By: Staff Writer

Issa Diop has revealed that the opportunity to work alongside West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini was a key factor in his decision to move to east London.

Diop signed in yesterday having completed a £22million switch from Ligue 1 side Toulouse, whom he captained from the age of 19. And he insisted that the lure of working with such an experienced manager was an offer he simply couldn't refuse.

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"Manuel Pellegrini is a top coach who has worked at some huge clubs around the world," said West Ham's new record signing. "Iím looking forward to working with him and showing him what I can do.

"I am very happy to sign for such an historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player, and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as weíve seen with the appointment of Pellegrini. I just hope that we can have a great season.

"West Ham is a big club and there are a lot of good players here. Iím very happy to be here and very excited. I hope we win lots of games and make the fans happy; I canít wait to pull on the shirt."

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Diop, who has represented France at all levels from Under 16 through Under 21 also believes his experience as captain at Toulouse will stand him in good stead for his new role in the Premier League.

"I learned a lot and it was great experience for me at my age," he surmised. "It was certainly a good thing, for someone of my age to be captain. Iím not sure myself if I am a natural leader, but my coach thought I was.

"Being captain at such a young age was a wonderful experience for me. It was a really good thing. Now Iím just hoping that I can give my best here and show more of the same."

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