Cheikhou Kouyaté made his move from West Ham to Crystal Palace official last week and has since made quite an impression on the Eagles faithful with an Instagram post that suggests he’s already loving life in SE25.
Kouyaté’s first Instagram post as a Palace player is a belter… pic.twitter.com/UsQsOhmP7w
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) August 4, 2018
The Senegalese international was told to make the switch by his fellow countryman Pape Souare and was clearly feeling the love after just a day or two in training, with the comments he made on social media suggesting that he’s over the moon to be starting afresh in red and blue.
Most sensible West Ham fans you speak to will tell you that Kouyaté enjoyed a fantastic first season in their colours before seeing his form fall off a figurative cliff in the two campaigns that followed. Quite a few of them have attributed that drop in performance to the change of stadium, with Upton Park’s smallish playing surface being replaced by the far vaster London Staidum pitch, others just feel as though Cheik had lost his way and is now in need of a new challenge.
They may have fallen out of love with his bubbly demeanour thanks to the drop in his game but none have gone as far as to suggest that Kouyaté has always been a dreadful footballer. The most ubiquitous comment I’ve come across since his transfer was made official centres around “getting first season Kouyaté back” rather than the player the Irons faithful have watched over the last couple of years; a task I’m sure Roy Hodgson will take to with real relish.
Of course, professional footballers earn their money on the field but his opening statement as a Palace player via Instagram was enough to bring even the most sceptical of supporters on-side in an instant, speaking with passion and excitement for what lies ahead this season. Did he write it all himself? Almost certainly not. Does that matter if the sentiments expressed within the post are genuine on his part? Not in the slightest.
He made his Palace debut off the bench against Toulouse last weekend and was given a rapturous reception by those in attendance. Hopefully he can hit the ground running and become an instant fans’ favourite in SE25, he wouldn’t be the first Hammer to do so and I dare say he won’t be the last.