Speaking in an interview exclusively with L’Équipe, West Ham United’s new signing, French central defender Issa Diop discussed his departure from Toulouse – the highlights:
How are you feeling about the move?
I am very happy. This is the first transfer I have experienced, so obviously there is a lot of emotion. This was an important step for me.
How does it feel to be the most expensive sale in the history of Toulouse?
Honestly, it does not mean anything to me at all. I am truly happy for the club, for the youth academy, for the coaches, I hope that it will serve them well in the future.
Certain players in recent years have come to the Premier League and failed. Was that something you considered?
Honestly, not at all. I do not compare myself at all to other footballers. If I do not succeed, that will be on me. That would mean that I would not have done everything required to succeed. What is important for me is to put everything in place. The future will indicate if I made the right decision to leave at this time and come here. I have the keys to my future. I felt like now was the right time to leave. The right moment.
Do you think you are sufficiently equipped to leave now?
Yes I do. Even if I am conscious that I need to progress in all areas.
You received interest from Leipzig, AS Roma and Sevilla last year. What were the criteria that led you to move to West Ham?
I did not have any priorities. The only criteria that I had, was that the club would count on me. West Ham is the club that will allow me to grow. The coach spoke to me, and explained what he expected from me. I know that I am going to arrive in a great place, with amazing players. It a new step that I am taking. But this is not an accomplishment. I have not played in the Champions’ League, the World Cup. In football, I have achieved nothing yet.