Cheikhou Kouyaté agreed to a contract extension with West Ham late last week, which shows that manager Slaven Bilic and the powers-that-be at the club are keen to tie down their star men after such a good season for the club.

When an unfancied team does well – and despite the optimism in East London prior to the season, West Ham were unfancied by many – other sides can often look to poach their players, but the Hammers are now protecting themselves from this by getting new deals done.

After extending his contract, Cheikhou Kouyaté thanked the club and the fans in an interview with the official website.

I am happy to have renewed my contract with West Ham. I am very happy and would like to thank everybody here at the club, the manager, the fans and also my parents. I think that it is the start of the next chapter for us to go on and discover the new stadium.

Having impressed in 32 outings last season, and racking up 33 appearances so far this season, Kouyaté has become an important asset to the East London side. It was not unexpected that the club offered him a new five-year deal and the player seems overjoyed to extend his stay.

I am really excited to begin the next year with my team. I am delighted to have signed the contract which allows to play a part in this project.

With West Ham battling for a fourth place in the Premier League also fighting for a spot in the semi-final of the FA Cup, Kouyaté’s contract extension will be a nice boost for the Hammers.

Kouyaté’s contract will run to the summer of 2021.