After making 147 appearances for us in which time scoring 15 goals, last night Cheik’s move across London was confirmed. Kouyate has left the Hammers for an undisclosed. Having come from the Belgian league there was that hope that he would be just another in the long line of gems to be unearthed from there. And he did burst on to the scene. He was all action and you could guarantee at least once a game he would make one of those trademark lung busting length of the pitch runs and usually slot in a team mate who has gone unnoticed while opposition defenders struggle to keep up with his gangly stride.
He was a poor man’s Yaya Toure and it was rumoured at one point that Sp**s attempted to open negations but quite rightly so that went nowhere. In his first 2 seasons it really did look like he was going to go on to bigger and better things. He was clearly a central figure to the squad off of the pitch to and going by what you see on social media from team mates and the club itself he really did look as though he was loved outside of the pitch just as much as he was on it. He had even slotted in at centre back and the only drawback to this was we missed his energy in the midfield.
But he came to epitomise in the end what has been an out of form team for some time. Mostly under Bilic his discipline and positioning was regularly at fault and even on MOTD they made the point of highlighting him for criticism. We have all seen those clips of him jogging back while his man, with the ball cuts across him and he is simply, for some reason a spectator.
This was an all to frequent sight and we have rarely seen the player we thought we had since we have moved to the London Stadium. With the recruits made and apparently still potentially to be added to the squad it has seemed inevitable that either himself or Obiang would be leaving, possibly both but for now it is just Cheik. I have to say I am sad that he hasn’t discovered that form that made him such a fan favourite and made him a big feature in the team. But I think now is the time to move on as we have been in need of a strong imposing defensive midfielder and with time it has become increasingly clear that player will not be him.
It shows that hopefully as a club we are looking to move forwards because it would have been very easy to keep him, get rid of one of the younger players who there are doubts over if they will make it when we have a (on recent form) average Premier League midfielder in the ranks.
But I wish Cheik all the best at Palace and despite the attempts at a rivalry on social media by some sections of both fans they are a proper club trying to do things the right way, even if a small section of their fans are dickheads (Even Palace fans know the Homesdale Fanatics are dicks) and I hope he can rediscover some of the form that made him a favourite and im sure he will be a valuable addition to their squad.
For the record I hope we can replace him with a stand out performer for Palace last season and get Loftus-Cheek on loan with first refusal on him next summer!!
Who would you like to see replace him? Would you be happy with RLC? Is there another name being touted that excites you more? Or with Rice and Cullen do we even need a direct replacement? Let me know on twitter @myWHUopinion
Written By Jack | @myWHUopinion