West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate is just as vital as Alex Song in Hammers' progress

Cheikhou Kouyate is every bit as vital to West Ham United as their loan star Alex Song.

Alex Song's arrival at West Ham United has helped the side take the next step in their evolution, the Hammers currently fourth in the Premier League table after an outstanding run of form.

But there is another West Ham player who is every bit as important to Sam Allardyce's side; a fellow midfielder who showed in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland that he continues to be a vital component that simply cannot be ignored even if much of his work often goes unnoticed.

Cheikhou Kouyate is yet another of West Ham's savvy summer signings who is perhaps the most low-key given Song's reputation and the impact Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have had since arriving.  But the Senegal midfielder has shone week in, week out thus far.

Against Sunderland the 24-year-old had a passing accuracy of 83 per cent and he matched or bettered Song in terms of outfield blocks, effective clearances, interceptions won and aerial battles won.

  Passing AccuracyOutfield BlocksTackles WonEffective ClearancesInterceptions WonDuels WonAerials WonMins Played
Cheikhou Kouyaté 83% 1 2 2 2 6 3 90
Alexandre Song 72% 0 3 2 1 9 0 90

The West Ham duo are forming an outstanding partnership and as much as Sakho, Valencia and Andy Carroll's goals will prove important, so too will the regular contributions of players who do the unfancied stuff beautifully.

Kouyate deserves all the praise he gets, plus plenty more, and if he remains fit for the rest of the campaign, he could prove the difference for Allardyce's side.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch