Cheikhou Kouyaté, a professional footballer hailing from Senegal, has carved an impressive career path, leaving a lasting impact on the football world.
In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into his life, exploring key aspects such as his biography, early life, career, net worth, personal life, and details about his parents and siblings.
Cheikhou Kouyaté, born on December 21, 1989, in Dakar, Senegal, stands as a defensive midfielder or center-back for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League. As of January 2024, at 34 years old, his journey in football has been both inspiring and impactful.
Early Life and Education
Kouyaté’s football journey commenced in 1996 when he first stepped onto the field with ASC Yego Dakar in his hometown. His talent quickly caught attention, leading to a scouting opportunity with RWDM Brussels in September 2006.
The youth contract he signed in January the following year marked the beginning of his professional ascent.
Moving to Anderlecht at the age of 19, Kouyaté made 206 appearances and secured four Belgian First Division A titles during his time there. His skills on the field began drawing significant recognition.
Cheikhou Kouyaté Career
Kouyaté’s Early Career (1996-2006)
Kouyaté embarked on his football journey in 1996 with ASC Yego Dakar in his hometown. His talent didn’t go unnoticed, and in September 2006, RWDM Brussels scouted and signed him in January of the following year.
During his time with RWDM Brussels, he made ten league appearances for the first team between 2007 and 2008.
Move to Anderlecht
At 19, Kouyaté left Brussels due to unpaid wages and joined Anderlecht in the same city on a four-year deal for a free transfer. He also had a loan spell at KV Kortrijk.
His stint at Anderlecht saw him make 153 league appearances, contributing to four league titles and three Belgian Super Cups.
West Ham United Era (2014-2018)
In June 2014, Kouyaté made a £7 million move to West Ham United. His debut against Tottenham Hotspur in August 2014 left a positive impression, with his performance described as “impressive.”
Throughout the 2014-15 season, Cheikhou Kouyaté showcased his skills, earning praise for his Man of the Match performance against Manchester United.
The 2015-16 season saw Kouyaté continue to make an impact, scoring crucial goals against top teams like Arsenal and Norwich City. His consistent performance led to a five-year contract extension in March 2016.
Kouyaté’s contributions extended to the 2016-17 season, where he scored West Ham’s first-ever goal at the Olympic Stadium and secured victories against rivals Chelsea and Swansea City.
His final season with West Ham in 2017-18 included notable goals against Tottenham and Leicester City, marked by a unique celebration raising awareness about slavery in Libya.
Crystal Palace Move (2018-2022)
In August 2018, Kouyaté joined Crystal Palace on a four-year deal. He made his debut in a win against Fulham and scored his first goal in December 2019 against his previous club.
Under manager Patrick Vieira in 2021, Kouyaté continued to play a crucial role in midfield or an expanded defense. He contributed to Palace’s run to the semi-finals of the 2021-22 FA Cup, scoring in a victory over Stoke City.
Nottingham Forest Journey (2022- )
In August 2022, Kouyaté signed a two-year contract with Premier League club Nottingham Forest. He made his debut in a draw with Everton and scored his first goal in a match against Bournemouth.
At the age of 18, Cheikhou Kouyaté earned a call-up to the Senegal under-20s team in the same year he made his debut with RWDM Brussels, showcasing his skills by scoring two goals in three games in 2007.
On February 29, 2012, Kouyaté marked his debut for the Senegal senior team as a substitute in the 56th minute during a goalless friendly match against South Africa.
During this time, he was in the process of becoming a Belgian citizen and was linked to the country’s national team. In the same year, Cheikhou Kouyaté was selected for the Senegal Olympic football team and played in every game as they made their debut appearance in the tournament, reaching the quarter-finals.
In January 2015, Kouyaté was part of the squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. He scored his first international goal on September 5, 2017, in a 2–0 victory against Namibia in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.
He played a crucial role in Senegal’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, participating in all seven games as they finished runners-up in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
At the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Kouyaté played six matches for the winning team, making a significant impact in the quarter-finals against Equatorial Guinea.
In Senegal’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Kouyaté started in the opening match against the Netherlands but sustained a hamstring injury, preventing further participation in the tournament.
In December 2023, he was named in Senegal’s squad for the postponed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations held in the Ivory Coast.
Cheikhou Kouyaté Net Worth (as of 2024)
As of 2024, Cheikhou Kouyaté boasts an estimated net worth of £24 million, a testament to his successful career and endorsements.
In his personal life, Kouyaté is known to be married to Zahra Mbow, with whom he shares the joy of parenthood, blessed with one child.
Cheikhou Kouyaté practices Islam and completed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
After Senegal’s victory at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, he was honored with the title of Grand Officer of the National Order of the Lion by President Macky Sall.
Cheikhou Kouyaté Parents and Siblings
His father, Mr. Bangiougou Kouyaté, stands as a supportive figure in Kouyaté’s life, contributing to his journey and achievements.