Danny Mills has suggested that West Ham defender Issa Diop will have been unsettled by the speculation over his future this summer and it will take the first games of the season to get back to his best.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds and England full-back says that the Hammers centre back may have thought he would be moving on from the London Stadium, insisting that the rumours surrounding a potential move would have emerged as a result of behind-the-scenes talks.
Diop was heavily linked with a move to Premier League rivals Manchester United this summer, the Red Devils eventually signing Harry Maguire from Leicester, leaving the Irons’ powerhouse in east London.
Mills says that the 22-year-old will have had his head turned by the speculation, regardless of him staying at West Ham, and that it will take a couple of games for him to get fully focused again.
Mills told Football Insider: “I think always when there’s a lot of rumours about big clubs – I’m sure his agent will have been speaking to people, there is no smoke without fire – he might have been thinking: ‘Okay, this is happening.’
“It can be a little bit unsettling, especially when it’s the possibility of a real big move, you just need to let the first three or four games of the season settle down.”
Diop played 38 times for the Hammers last season after moving from French outfit Toulouse, appearing in all but five of their Premier League fixtures.
He was named among the starting XI for the club’s opening fixture against Manchester City this campaign, Pep Guardiola’s side running riot in a 5-0 victory.