The Palace No.8 caught up with Premier League Productions to assess the Eagles' recent results, and in doing so explained that having partnerships with some of the league's most experienced centre-backs provides him with invaluable support.
"Gaz [Gary Cahill] and Dannsy [Scott Dann] and Tonks [James Tomkins] play very, very good and have good experience. I’m very, very happy to play with them because they have more experience than me, more games at centre-back than me and it’s very, very good for me to play with Gaz and Tonks, Dannsy and also Mama [Sakho]. It’s very, very good for me to learn every day."
Kouyate has played at centre-back at times throughout his career, competing there for Anderlecht, West Ham United and Senegal. But, international football aside, it has rarely been a regular spot for him.
This means the combined 1,732 career appearances of Cahill, Dann, Tomkins and Sakho still go a long way to moulding his style of play, which he says has to change for every game:
"They have more experience at centre-back and they talk to me every time I’m playing, helping me.
"This is my first year I played too many [lots of] games at the back – they talk to me every time: sometimes my position, sometimes what I need to do.
"I remember playing centre-back for Anderlecht in big games – I’m playing Champions League against AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Athletic Bilbao with big players. I played centre-back, [that was] my first experience there.
"When I came here [Palace] I had Gaz, Dannsy, Tonks, Mama, when I play with them they talk to me: ‘We need to do that, we need to do this. Yes, Cheikh, we need to do that.’ Everything is different in the game.
"Example: we played against West Ham, after it’s Sheffield United or a different team. For every game they come to tell me: ‘This game, you need to do that. This striker is running like that [points arm one way], this guy is like that [points arm the other way].’ It’s very good for me and very easy for me when you have someone like that."