Cheikhou Kouyaté fine season for West Ham United has been brought to an early end, with the midfielder missing the last two matches of the Premier League campaign as he is expected to undergo surgery on his wrist.
Sooner rather than later
It has been an excellent season for the 27-year-old who has emerged as a firm fan favourite in the first season at the London Stadium, with Kouyaté scoring the first competitive goal at the stadium in the 3-0 win over NK Domzale.
The Senegalese has become even more crucial in the side's recent resurgence, scoring the crucial goal in the 1-0 win over Swansea City which ended their seven-game run without a win. Kouyaté has played with the injury throughout the campaign through his 36 appearances in all competitions and three internationals with Senegal at the African Nations Cup.
Slaven Bilić's side secured their top-flight status with the 1-0 win over Tottenham, which has opened the opportunity for Kouyaté to undergo surgery which will see him the matches against Liverpool and Burnley.
Finishing in the top ten is the priority
The Hammers have been on their own renaissance in recent weeks with Manuel Lanzini's goal on Friday making it five games unbeaten, with that win not only making them mathematically safe but propelling them into the top ten if only for a day with other results going against them.
They have the opportunity to go as high as eighth on Sunday depending on other results across the weekend, they will face a tough test in a Liverpool side looking to cement their Champions League status for next season but defender José Fonte insisted that finishing in the top-half remains the priority.
“We are pleased," Fonte told whufc.com in reference to Friday's win. "But we still have two games to go and two wins to get.”
“We have a massive game against Liverpool and we want to finish in the top ten," the defender stated. "So we have got to win those two games."
"It’s another big game on Sunday," Fonte concluded. "And we want to replicate what we did against Tottenham."