Manuel Pellegrini’s summer overhaul at West Ham has resulted in it’s first major casualty, with Cheikhou Kouyate’s departure announced yesterday.
The Hammers confirmed that the Senegal international had moved across the Premier League to join Crystal Palace, in a deal that The Guardian claims is worth an initial £9.5m and a further £1.5m in add-ons.
Departures from the London Stadium are unsurprising following Pellegrini’s vast spending spree that has brought the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Issa Diop to east London but the deal has not proven to be popular amongst a number of supporters.
Signed from Anderlecht in 2014, Kouyate proved to be a valuable asset for the Hammers but struggled for form last season in a campaign where West Ham flirted with relegation – despite the 28-year-old making the third-most Premier League appearances for the club, Whoscored stats show, behind only Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell.
Kouyate’s best performances for the Hammers came in his debut campaign in the Premier League, managed by Sam Allardyce, where he developed a knack of scoring in games against big clubs – netting against Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
He also has his names in the history books after scoring the club’s first-ever goal at the London Stadium in August 2016 in a Europa League qualifying tie against NK Domzale, but his dip in form last term put him on the fringes of Pellegrini’s squad.
Following the arrival of Jack Wilshere, Kouyate was set to face a fight for first-team football and the Hammers remain linked with a number of midfield acquisitions before the transfer window closes next week – and the sale of the Senegal midfielder could finance such a deal.
Here, we have assembled some of best reactions from Twitter from gutted West Ham supporters.
Gutted about this, such a great character. Whilst he’s not had the greatest of times over the last couple of seasons, he certainly had some great games in claret & blue. Will be hard seeing him in Palace colours!
— Scott Burgess #30 (@Scott_Burgess) August 1, 2018
you're with tomkins now sweet prince
— ?i?? (@WattupWill) August 1, 2018
Think people have short memories. First few seasons he was a big player for us. Brilliant in fact. I have a feeling he will hit those heights again with a move. Bit gutted his gone Palace tbh.
— Mark Reynolds (@whumark) August 1, 2018
People that are celebrating his move need to remember he has been a loyal servant and saw us through good and bad times. A decent bloke to add, he didn’t perform to his level in the last season but I wish him the absolute best, thanks chiek!!
— Louis Tasker (@Taskeerrr) August 1, 2018
Thanks @PapiCheikhou forever a hammer ? don’t score against us.
— Jace De Souza (@desouza1994) August 1, 2018
This is a weird one, not sure if I’m happy or not. One things for sure his positive attitude will be missed! All the best for the future cheikhou
— Charlie Ives (@CharlieIves92) August 1, 2018
We won’t forget u king ??
— Girdap Bey (@CaganMutlu) August 1, 2018