Jamie Redknapp has told The Mail that Cheikou Kouyate stood out for him in West Ham's 2-1 win over Chelsea.
The Hammers inflicted another defeat on the reigning champions after Andy Carroll headed home a winner with 10 minutes remaining.
Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Redknapp said that he believes the Senegalese midfielder is vital to his side's success.
He said: "West Ham have a lot of attacking talent but I’ve been impressed with the way Cheikhou Kouyate holds it all together. He was excellent in the holding role against Chelsea.
"They (Chelsea) cannot have enjoyed watching him boss the midfield on Saturday."
Redknapp went on to lambast Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, describing his petulant behaviour as having a negative effect on his players and the whole club.
Kouyate was making his ninth Premier League appearance of the season, and has been a vital player for Slaven Bilic's side as their run of form propels them to third in the Premier League table.
The 25-year-old played more passes than any other West Ham midfielder (48) against Chelsea, and even offered something going forward too - creating one goalscoring chance.
Defensively he made two tackles and one interception, but it is the freedom which his positioning and tactical awareness provides to players like Dmitri Payet which is statistically unmeasurable, where he really excels.