Aaron Cresswell praises West Ham team-mate Cheikhou Kouyate for centre-back performances

The Senegalese international has dropped into defence because of injury problems in recent games.

West Ham United have been in a poor run of form since Christmas. In recent weeks they have not been helped with injury problems, particularly up front and at centre back.

Winston Reid is currently out with a hamstring problem while James Tomkins has dislocated a shoulder.

With these two out of action Sam Allardyce has resorted to playing summer signing Cheikhou Kouyate at the back. After West Ham defeated Sunderland 1-0 yesterday his performances were praised by defensive team-mate Aaron Cresswell.

Speaking to the official Hammers site the English left-back stated:

“Cheik’s had to fill in a few times over the last couple of weeks now and he’s done it again on Saturday and been fantastic.

“We got the clean sheet so what more could we ask for? We have two weeks until the next game, so it’s a chance for a few of the injured lads to get back for Leicester.”

Kouyate has been a great buy for West Ham, ever since making his move from Anderlecht in the summer.

But he was signed as a midfielder, so his performances at centre-back have certainly been admirable.

He played much of his career in Belgium as a central defender so the transition has not been too harsh, but he had not played there for a long time and with all due respect to the Belgian Pro League the standard is certainly not that of the Premier League.

So he has done admirably in his team’s hour of need. He will be thankful of Winston Reid’s expected return after the international break, so he can get back to swashbuckling midfield adventures.

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