'I want to play with Mbappe' - West Ham defender Diop's France ambition

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The young centre-half has impressed during his short time in the Premier League and he hopes a senior call up for Les Bleus is on the horizon

Issa Diop hopes that his good form at West Ham will lead to a France call-up so that he can play alongside Kylian Mbappe.

The 21-year-old defender has been impressive during his first season in the Premier league, with his performances reportedly drawing interest from bigger clubs with Manchester United said to be looking at him.

Diop has formed a solid partnership with fellow summer arrival Fabian Balbuena and his performances at the London Stadium have earned him a recall to the France U21 team.

He now hopes that, if his form continues at the same level, he will receive a senior cap sooner rather than later.

"Of course, I want to play in the first team of France one day and I hope I can do this with West Ham,” he told the club's official website.

Diop faces tough competition to get into the France squad as the world champions have a depth of talent in defence. Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti seem unbreakable as a partnership, even with up-and-coming defenders such as Presnel Kimpembe and Aymeric Laporte waiting in the wings.

"I played through the age group sides with Mbappe, Dembele, Rabiot, Kimpembe, Lemar and Hernandez. Firstly I am happy for them and also I want to play with them in the France team," Diop added.

"Mbappe is very quick. Sometimes I won the battle. Sometimes not. He is very smart. He has all the qualities of a big player. If you make just one mistake it’s a goal."

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Diop himself has not been impressed with how his season has started, despite the praise he has received, as he believes he has underperformed, claiming that West Ham have conceded too many goals for his liking. 

"I’ve not played well. I need to improve and I hope I improve quickly,” he said.

"Maybe people have said I have been impressive, but we [have] conceded too many goals. For me, I know I can do more and I can play better.”

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