Speaking to the official West Ham website, Kouyate, 25, has revealed that Yaya Toure is the player he looks up to the most.
“Yaya is a role model of mine, an idol,” the Senegalese international said. “I dreamed of being like him when I was younger. He has played for top clubs and given great performances. For three, four years, he was the best African player.”
Starting his career as a central defender, Kouyate arrived at West Ham from Anderlecht in the summer, and has excelled in the middle of the park.
His physical but technical play has him as one of few real modern day midfielders, and although he has had to fill in at centre-back due to injuries, it is clear his future lies in the middle of the park.
Nominally a defensive mdfielder, Kouyate has actually excelled in a more box-to-box role, as played by Toure, although he is certainly better than his idol at the defensive side of the game.
The summer arrival also has four goals and two assists in 25 games, and is arguably one of the signings of the summer, being key to the Hammers rejuvenation in the first half of this season.
Heading into next season, with a full campaign behind him, it should be suggested that Kouyate can only improve, and enjoy a truly fantastic year of football.