Cheikhou Kouyate welcomes return of Dimitri Payet

Cheikhou Kouyate has welcomed the return of Dimitri Payet.

Cheikhou Kouyate welcomes return of Dimitri Payet
Above: Cheikhou Kouyate celebrating with fellow West Ham United team-mate Dimitri Payet last season | Photo: whufc.co.uk

West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has welcomed the return of Hammers star Dimitri Payet.

Long-awaited return

Payet became a firm favourite amongst the Hammers faithful during his first season at the club. The Frenchman shined on the international stage with Euro 2016 hosts France, which saw him linked with some of the biggest clubs in world football.

However, Payet has returned to the Hammers ahead of the new season, returning to training last Friday, and made a brief appearance in the 3-2 defeat to Juventus. Payet is expected to have another excellent season at the London Stadium, and Kouyate is happy to welcome Payet back to the club.

He told whufc.com: “He is the best player at West Ham so all eyes will be focused on him now,” and believes “We will need him to play well for West Ham this season." Kouyate continued: "Yes, Manchester City and Manchester United have nice teams but we are looking forward to playing them.”

Above: Cheikhou Kouyate scoring one of his two goals in West Ham United's 3-0 win over NK Domzale | Photo:Kevin Quigley
Above: Cheikhou Kouyate scoring one of his two goals in West Ham United's 3-0 win over NK Domzale | Photo:Kevin Quigley

Making history

The 2016/17 season is set to be a historic one for Slaven Bilic's side, with their move to the London Stadium. Kouyate created history, scoring the first goal in the 3-0 win over NK Domzale, and the Senegalese shared his delight at his part in Hammers history.

He said: “I am so proud to have scored the first goal,” as “The game was very important for the Club." Kouyate concluded: “This is a very big memory for me, a big moment. Historic," and Kouyate admitted "I don’t think the people who came to watch expected me to score the first goal!”

West Ham United will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, August 15 with kick-off at 8pm BST.