West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has agreed a new five-and-a-half-year deal with the club, it was confirmed on Friday.
On the eve of their London derby with Chelsea, the Irons announced the news on their Twitter feed with an accompanying clip of the Senegal international:
The 26-year-old has become a popular figure at the Boleyn Ground since signing in the summer of 2014, revelling in the heart of midfield for Slaven Bilic’s enterprising outfit. West Ham are enjoying a campaign to remember, sitting in fifth placed in the Premier League table and one game away from an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Kouyate, whether used in the heart of midfield or as a back-up defender as he has been at times this term, has been vital to the West Ham cause.
Blessed with brute strength, he’s a footballer who can nudge opposition attackers out of possession with ease. Additionally, when on the ball Kouyate has regularly shown a Yaya Toure-esque turn of pace, with his elegant loping stride allowing him to scythe through phases of the pitch to devastating effect.
As noted by Squawka Football, he’s a tenacious presence for this Hammers team:
Cheikhou Kouyaté has won more tackles (55) than any other West Ham player in the Premier League this season. https://t.co/f9flcSLadK— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 18, 2016
It’s another exciting bit of business done by West Ham too. Star man Dimitri Payet agreed a bolstered new deal earlier in the season and it’s clear the club are keen to get their star men contented. Kouyate, while not as spectacular as the Frenchman, has been a crucial cog in their line-up.
After being rewarded with this contract, Bilic will now want to see the Senegal star go up another level in his performances. Although given his appetite for the game and the continued ease with which he’s coping with the Premier League, it’s seems inevitable that Kouyate will do exactly that in the years to come with the Hammers