Three West Ham players that need to move on to fulfil their potential

“If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career I know he has left something behind.”

Ronald Koeman rather rocked Everton’s fanbase a few days ago with this quite frankly astonishing utterance, in which he openly advised his star player, Romelu Lukaku, to move away from Goodison Park in search of bigger and better things.

This got us at Football FanCast Towers thinking… are there other players at other clubs in a similar position to the giant Belgian? An interesting study on this front is West Ham, who have slipped down the table this season after seemingly bashing their head on the ceiling of what is possible in east London last term when they mounted a top four challenge.

Here are THREE players who may well need to leave the Irons to progress…

Dimitri Payet

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Rarely are players simultaneously on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist and embroiled in a relegation fight, but Payet finds himself in just that situation. The Frenchman had a stellar 2015/16 and EURO 2016 with France, and has even managed to shine in an under-performing Hammers side thus far this term.

By the end of the season the playmaker will be 30, and he will surely find it hard to spend another campaign battling in midtable. Although his age may count against him, it’s likely that a team such as Paris Saint-Germain will be eager to lure him back to his homeland.

Aaron Cresswell

Football Soccer - Leicester City v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League - The King Power Stadium - 17/4/16 Aaron Cresswell celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham Reuters / Darren Staples Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

In line for his England debut over the coming days, the left-back has become one of the standout players in his position in the Premier League. Defensively responsible and a willing attacking threat, Cresswell is surely being looked at by the division’s elite, and, although it’s pure speculation, he appears to be the perfect solution to Liverpool’s problems at no.3.

Cheikhou Kouyate

Football Soccer Britain - West Ham United v Chelsea - EFL Cup Fourth Round - London Stadium - 26/10/16 West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Athletic, imposing and technically adept, Kouyate has the makings of a great central midfielder. The Senegalese star, who has been capped 24 times by his nation, has been a bit hot and cold in the claret and blue shirt, but in a better side surrounded by better players his level could be dragged up, while the removal of the need to be a key player may alleviate some pressure from his shoulders.