West Ham United are delighted to confirm that Cheikhou Kouyate has signed a new long-term contract with the Club.
The Senegal star has put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the Club until summer 2021.
For Kouyate, the new contract comes after 20 outstanding months in Claret and Blue, during which the No8 has caught the eye and won over fans and pundits alike with his power, pace, technical ability and knack of scoring important goals.
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In all, the midfielder becomes the ninth player to commit his future to the Hammers since the start of 2015, following Payet, Mark Noble, Winston Reid, Adrian, James Collins, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell and Diafra Sakho.
Speaking to West Ham TV, Kouyate said the Club’s vision for a successful future, on and off the pitch, played a big part in his decision to ink his new deal.
The 26-year-old said: "I am happy to have renewed my contract with West Ham. I am very happy and would like to thank everybody here at the club, the manager, the fans and also my parents. I think that it is the start of the next chapter for us to go on and discover the new Stadium.”
“It means that the Club trusts me and that means a lot for me. There is a lot of work for me still to do and I need to continue working hard and prepare for the move to the Olympic Stadium and most of all to keep on entertaining the fans."
Born in Dakar, where he started with the ASC Yego club, Kouyate moved to European football with FC Brussels in 2006 at the age of 16.
From there, the 6’4 player was snapped up by RSC Anderlecht, where he enjoyed six outstanding seasons, winning four Belgian Pro League titles, three Belgian Super Cups and appearing more than 40 times in European competition.
Kouyate moved to east London in summer 2014 and has not looked back, immediately catching the eye with his athleticism and will to win.
Likened to former France star Patrick Vieira, the new Hammer scored fine goals against Arsenal, Manchester United – winning the Club’s Performance of the Season award for his display against the Red Devils – Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City.
Kouyate began the current campaign with another Barclays Premier League goal against the Gunners, followed by a last-gasp equaliser at home to Norwich City and another in a victory over Aston Villa.
It has not just been the African player’s goals that have set him apart, however, as Kouyate is also regularly among the Hammers’ leaders in tackles, interceptions and blocks made.
Capped more than 20 times, Kouyate has captained his country and appeared for the Lions of Teranga at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
With West Ham riding high in the Barclays Premier League, still in the Emirates FA Cup and preparing to move to the 54,000-seater Stadium in Stratford, and Senegal through to the third round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Kouyate’s star is set to rise still further for Club and country.