A shortage of fit players in central defence saw Sam Allardyce use the midfielder in his back four and he found himself grabbing West Ham’s goal when he got forward into a more familiar position.
“I don’t think he quite knew what he was doing. It was a great finish from Cheik and he’s come in and I don’t think he’s played there all season and I think he’s done an excellent job,” said the left-back.
While Kouyate did a good job in defence, Sam Allardyce will be hoping that he doesn’t have to use him there too frequently over the rest of the season.
He was obviously determined to impress and did so against a talented Manchester United side, but other sides may find a way to exploit his inexperience as a defence.
He reads the game well and carries a physical presence, but it’s always going to be a risk playing a midfielder in the heart of the back four.
His skill told inside the opponent’s penalty area, although his goal was helped by a deflection, and Allardyce should look to get him back to a more familiar midfield role as quickly as possible.
However, it is encouraging for the side that he’s shown versatility and the willingness to provide cover in an unfamiliar position.
His attitude and professionalism can’t be faulted, but fingers crossed West Ham don’t have to use more players out of position over the rest of the season.