whufc.com

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

Leave a comment

West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Neymar nets winner as league leader PSG wins 1-0 at Toulouse

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Neymar showed there was no hangover from his lavish birthday party by scoring the winner as leader Paris Saint-Germain won at Toulouse 1-0 in the French league on Saturday.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Citizens crack 70 points, Tottenham wins NLD ]

Neymar settled a scrappy match with a typical moment of skill midway through the second half. He drifted into the left side of the penalty area and cut past two players before his deflected shot somewhat fortuitously wrong-footed goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

The win moved PSG 13 points clear of second-place Marseille, which drew at Saint-Etienne 2-2 on Friday.

But this was a largely uninspired PSG performance aside from Neymar. He has 19 goals in 18 league games since joining from Barcelona for a world record 222 million euros ($260 million).

Neymar had plenty of spare cash to throw a mega-party last Sunday to celebrate turning 26. He privatized a Parisian club and invited 300 guests – including his teammates, his coach, his club president – and 50 keen partygoers from Brazil.

As a result, coach Unai Emery gave Neymar a rest on a chilly Tuesday when PSG played at Sochaux; and it proved a judicious move as the silky Neymar looked in fine form. He almost added a second goal late on with a brilliant curling shot from 25 meters which bounced off the crossbar.

PSG needs Neymar like this. The club has a massive game at Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, in the first leg of the last 16. PSG has a big point to prove after being humiliated 6-1 by Barcelona in the second leg at the same stage last year – with Neymar PSG’s chief tormentor that night.

“We’re ready. It will be a very important game for our season and we don’t have the right not to be ready,” PSG midfielder Marco Verratti said. “We’re content because things are going well in the league. ”

Later Saturday, Monaco looked to move above Marseille and into second place with a win at Angers. But Monaco is without injured top scorer Radamel Falcao.

Video: Stoke’s Imbula scores stunner on loan at Toulouse

Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Stoke City supporters know the name Giannelli Imbula, and perhaps they’ll be clamoring for the Frenchman to return to the bet365 Stadium if he can score more goals like this.

[ MORE: PL Roundup — Top three all victorious; Gunners thrash Palace ]

The holding midfielder is currently on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse, and for the first time this season, Imbula opened his goalscoring account in some fashion.

Right on half-hour mark, Imbula unleashed a left-footed strike from nearly 40 yards out to give Toulouse the lead over Montpellier (below).

Imbula joined Stoke during the 2015/16 PL season, and has made 26 appearances for the Potters in his time with the club, prior to his loan to France.

Video: Memphis Depay stuns with midfield blast

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
1 Comment

His days at Manchester United were anything but spectacular, however, Memphis Depay is out to make a name for himself once more in France.

The Lyon attacker decided that distance wasn’t an issue on Sunday when Depay scored from nearly midfield in the dying minutes of his side’s 4-0 win over Toulouse.

The 82nd minute finish was Depay’s second on the day and fifth goal since joining Lyon during the January transfer window. Lyon currently sits fourth in Ligue 1, 18 points out of the top spot — which is held by Monaco.

Watch Depay’s magical moment below.

PSG drops points against Toulouse days after massive UCL win

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just days after its massive (and somewhat unexpected) beatdown of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain failed to close the gap on league leaders Monaco.

[ MORE: Messi brace rescues Barca, Pescara earns second win ]

PSG settled for a 0-0 draw on Sunday at the Parc des Princes against eighth-place Toulouse, leaving the Parisian side three points behind Monaco through 26 rounds of action.

[ MORE: Bielsa returns to Ligue 1 with Lille ]

Despite holding the visitors to just three shots (one on target), Toulouse managed to contain a rampant PSG attack, which posted four goals midweek in their rout of the Blaugrana.

PSG’s first strong chance came in the 14th minute when Lucas Moura’s effort was saved in the bottom corner by goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani may have had the game’s best opportunity to break the deadlock when the Uruguayan attacker struck the post from inside the penalty area.

Unai Emery’s group will be back in action on Feb. 26 when PSG travels to Dimitri Payet and Marseille.