Paul Merson slams West Ham's decision to sell Cheikhou Kouyate

Paul Merson answers questions during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling on March 19, 2012 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England.

Paul Merson can't believe West Ham United allowed Cheikhou Kouyate to leave for Crystal Palace.

Paul Merson answers questions during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling on March 19, 2012 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England.

Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports' The Debate that he thinks West Ham United sold Cheikhou Kouyate for 'nothing' when they let him go to Crystal Palace this summer.

The Hammers have made a dismal start to the season with four defeats in four league games, having conceded a last-gasp winner to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

After defeats to Liverpool, Bournemouth and Arsenal, West Ham are not impressing under Manuel Pellegrini, and many have turned the attention to criticising the club's summer transfer business.

 

The likes of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko are yet to really justify their transfer fees, whilst one departure has left pundit Paul Merson baffled.

West Ham decided to sell midfielder Cheikhou Kouaye this summer, flogging him to London rivals Crystal Palace for a deal worth £11million in total (Independent), four years after being signed by Sam Allardyce.

The Senegal international has yet to really make a big impact for Palace, but did impress as a substitute in Saturday's defeat to Southampton, suggesting that more first-team football is imminent.

Cheikhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace during the Pre-Season Friendly between Crystal Palace and Toulouse at Selhurst Park on August 4, 2018 in London, England.

Now, Merson has told Sky Sports' The Debate that he thinks West Ham lack any sort of pace in their side and can't believe West Ham let Kouyate go so cheaply, claiming they sold him for a 'cup of tea' in the current transfer market.

“I think it's the same as it was last year; I don't think there's any pace in the team,” said Merson. “I think if there was one player last season that could get around the middle of the park and around midfield and hurry people up when they didn't have the ball, it was Kouyate who has gone to Crystal Palace. He went for a cup of tea, I think it was about £8million, which is nothing,” he added.

In 2016, Merson made similar comments when West Ham sold defender James Tomkins to Crystal Palace too, and he has become a star at Selhurst Park, with the form Arsenal ace clearly feeling that the Hammers have made the same mistake once again in selling a valuable player to a direct rival for below his worth.

West Ham United's Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Swansea City at...

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