Issa Diop facing season-ending ankle injury

19 April 2022 01:45

West Ham may have lost centre-back Issa Diop for the remainder of the season after the Frenchman suffered an ankle injury.

Diop picked up the issue in the late stages of the weekend's 1-1 draw with Burnley, for which West Ham didn't have a centre-back on the bench as they have already lost Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna.

Now, The Guardian state that initial scans on Diop's ankle have highlighted some ligament damage which could, given the timing, mean that the 25-year-old does not return again this season.

Losing Diop would be an enormous blow to Hammers boss David Moyes, who faces approaching the end of one of the biggest seasons of his managerial career with Craig Dawson as his only senior centre-back.

West Ham are still clinging on in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League but also have a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt to look forward to.

Just how Moyes will cope with Diop's absence is unclear, but there are a few different options for the Scot.

Moyes could elect to switch to a three-man defence, as he has done on occasion this season. Left-back Aaron Cresswell has played centrally in those games and fellow full-back Ben Johnson could be asked to do the same.

From the academy, Aji Alese and Jamal Baptiste have been involved with the first team, with the pair playing alongside each other for the 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the final Europa League group-stage game.

Moyes could also ask Declan Rice to channel his centre-back heritage, but the boss has been reluctant to move Rice away from the midfield role where he has excelled in recent years.

Source: 90min