Is Cheikhou Kouyate West Ham's alternative Player of the Year?

Many expect Aaron Cresswell to be West Ham's Player of the Year - but one player should also be in with a shout.

After an impressive debut season in the Premier League, it's understandable that left back Aaron Cresswell is the favourite to win West Ham's Player of the Year award.

The former Ipswich defender has been one of West Ham's most consistent players over the course of the season, and certainly deserves to be one of the front-runners for the accolade.

Yet, if the award was to go to one of his other team-mates, where are a number of names in the frame; Adrian, Carl Jenkinson, James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho would all be in with a shout.

However, one player sticks out as being underrated both on the pitch and in terms of the candidates for the award - Cheikhou Kouyate.

The Senegal international, 25, arrived from Anderlecht last summer and has transitioned seamlessly into Premier League football, earning comparisons to former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira for his athletic ability in the middle of the park.

Primarily a midfielder, Kouyate has broken up play superbly in West Ham's diamond formation, turning in superb displays whilst chipping in with the occasional goal, too.

In recent weeks, Kouyate has filled in at centre back and missed a beat, deputising for Winston Reid and James Tomkins in defence with aplomb, proving his value not only in midfield but also in defence - and excelling in multiple positions is something the other candidates can't boast this season.

Kouyate is a versatile, underrated player in the West Ham squad - and after a superb first season in English football, he deserves to be considered for the Player of the Year award at Upton Park.

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