West Ham United has confirmed the deal to bring twenty four year old defender, Cheikhou Kouyaté to the club for seven million pounds on a four year deal. The former Anderlecht player has expressed his desire to play in England and will get his opportunity to do so in Upton Park.
The 6’4″ defender can play either center back or defensive midfielder, and the Hammers will likely try use him as cover for Mohamed Diamé who has had injury problems in the past. West Ham’s manager Sam Allardyce will also be looking to create competition in the center back position with Winston Reid and James Tomkins looking to continue being a formidable partnership. Thus it will be up to Kouyaté to force his way in if he plays on the backline.
Kouyaté’s heading and passing ability are his strong points, being very composed on the ball and able to play from the back, this could be the direction Sam Allardyce is looking for with his tactics and choice of play heavily criticized after last season.
It’s West Ham’s second signing this summer with Argentinian striker Mauro Zárate joining the club in May. Cheikhou Kouyaté is relishing his opportunity in playing in the Premier League:
“I know a few players who were also at the club, Carlos Tevez, Demba Ba, Andy Carroll, who was obviously here last season. West Ham are a team who are known and who are going to help me to progress. West Ham was the ideal club for me, because as a kid I dreamed of playing in the Premier League and now it is here that my dream has been realized.”
The defender started his career at Senegal’s ASC Yeggo in 2006, he then moved FC Brussels in the youth set-up where he rose into the senior team. The 19-year-old then left FC Brussels as his former employers did not pay him three months of wage and subsequently moved to Anderlecht where he enjoyed success, winning the Pro League last season via the play-off system they use. Leaving West Ham does show ambitions as Anderlecht are usual Champions League recipients, never leaving the group stages however they tend to be the whipping boys of the group, suffering five defeats in Group C last season, Kouyaté will see this move as one which will be in the right direction.
Having five international appearances to his name, West Ham United have obtained a player who has his sights on the top and could be thrown straight into the fire with the team facing Tottenham Hotspur at home on the opening day of the season; it may be the perfect chance to show the West Ham faithful why he deserves to be playing in one of the best leagues in the World.