According to a recent report from Sky Sports, Crystal Palace are interested in a summer move for West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate. The 28-year-old has been at the East London club since 2014 and in that time has been a regular in the first team, although he didn’t enjoy the best of campaigns last time round as the Hammers struggled to a 13th place finish under ex-boss David Moyes.
And it appears that Roy Hodgson’s Palace are eyeing up a move for the Senegal international, yet his poor form last term should prompt the Eagles to forget about Kouyate, and instead pursue a deal for his £13.5 million-rated Hammers teammate Michail Antonio (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, while Palace are somewhat short in the central midfield department following the departure of Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer, 28-year-old Kouyate is simply not the answer given he was far from his best for West Ham last season.
The Senegalese star may well have appeared in 33 of their 38 Premier League matches last time round, but he failed to consistently produce a high level of performance in the middle of the park, with it arguable that the only reason he remained in the team was given the lack of genuine alternatives.
And while he has been known to perform well in a back three in previous years, Kouyate simply isn’t the answer for Hodgson’s Palace, whereas West Ham teammate Antonio would give them another accomplished option in the attacking part of the pitch.
The 28-year-old only managed 21 Premier League appearances for the Hammers last term due to several niggling injuries, yet he still managed three goals and an assist for the East London club, although it was his efforts the season before which should be of interest to Palace boss Hodgson.
And that’s because the Englishman scored nine goals and laid on five assists for West Ham to help Slaven Bilic’s side avoid relegation and eventually finish in 11th place, thus adding to the eight goals he managed the campaign before as the Hammers signed off their time at Upton Park with a wonderful seventh place finish.
Thus, it’s clear that Antonio has genuine pedigree at Premier League level and as such would add a great deal of quality and depth to the Palace ranks, not to mention a vast amount of versatility given the 28-year-old is adept up top, down the flanks, and even as a wing back or full back.
As such, the Eagles should forget about making a move for Kouyate, and should instead follow-through their reported interest in teammate Antonio by making a move for the Englishman.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!