The Senegalese captain had time called on his stint with the Irons, and moved across London to Crystal Palace. Losing all four of their opening games, the ex-England international thinks West Ham could do with him back in their ranks.
While on Sky Sports' 'The Debate', Merson suggested that the Hammers are missing Kouyate big time: “If there was one player last season that could get around the middle of the park and hurry people up when they didn’t have the ball it was Kouyate, who has gone to Crystal Palace. And he only went for about £8m which is nothing.
"He was the one person who’d go and engage and try and get the ball back.
"When you watch them now and they haven’t got the ball they haven’t got anyone who can get around the pitch. They are an easy team to play against at the moment.”
Talking about West Ham's need to have a physical force in midfield, Merson said: "They are buying players like they are a team that is going to have 75 per cent possession of the ball every week and they are not a team that do have a lot of possession of the ball.
"If you aren't going to have a lot of the ball you've got to have people that are going to get it back. They haven't got that and I do worry for them, I really do."
Losing a last minute goal to Wolves last weekend, West Ham are dangerously close to cementing themselves in a relegation battle. While it was expected that the tactics of Manuel Pellegrini would take time to embed, there has been zero sign of progression so far.