Newcastle United January transfer target Issa Diop was hauled off at half-time for West Ham United in the FA Cup tie against Kidderminster Harriers following a torrid performance.
According to RMC Sport (Transfer Live blog, 8:56am, January 31, 2022), the Magpies placed a bid for the Hammers’ central defender. The bid was believed to be around €8 million (£6.65m).
However, Football.London reported that David Moyes’s side would reject any bid to come from PIF.
On today’s evidence it looks like Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe will be counting his lucky stars that a move for Diop didn’t come to fruition.
The 25-year-old didn’t know how to contain the National League North side and looked completed overawed by the occasion.
The non-league side took a shock lead which Diop played a pivotal part in.
A free-kick was swung into the West Ham penalty area which neither Diop nor goalkeeper Alphonse Areola dealt with.
Areola failed to collect the cross after coming charging off his line, and Diop’s attempted header did little to alleviate the pressure and allowed the hosts the opportunity to take the lead.
Moyes had seen enough, and at half-time he brought on Craig Dawson in place of the out-of-sorts Diop.
The Hammers managed to rescue the tie thanks to the influential Declan Rice.
On today’s evidence it would be a surprise to see Diop retain his place in the starting line-up for Tuesday’s Premier League clash against Watford.
Newcastle fans will certainly hope he doesn’t because if he reproduces today’s lacklustre performance the Hornets could be within a chance of getting a result to bolster their survival bid.
But more importantly it looks like Newcastle have got away with one in not signing Diop.
If he’s shaky and looks vulnerable defending against a non-league side, then the pressure of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League could well have proved too much for him.
- Two photos of 'talented' local lad sum up remarkable turnaround at Newcastle United in 12 months
- Report: 'Exceptional' player PIF wanted to bring to Newcastle now set to join Chelsea instead
- Newcastle 23-year-old 'delighted' Eddie Howe on Saturday – he silenced the critics
- 55-year-old manager sacked just one year after claim he 'would love' to be Newcastle boss
- 'Very tempting': £58m attacker could really be persuaded to join Newcastle – journalist