Could Coufal be a surprise Hammer of the Year for West Ham?

Race For Champions League: What West Ham Have To Do. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Race For Champions League: What West Ham Have To Do. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Vladimir Coufal put in arguably his best performance in West Ham colours on Saturday against table-toppers Manchester City, and afterward, his reaction pointed toward a cup-final defeat rather than a narrow loss to the champions-elect.

His display was magnificent as he kept highly-promising winger Ferran Torres quiet for the majority of the match, before giving no time or space for young starlet Phil Foden to impose himself on the match, either.

This defensive showing was matched by his will to join the Hammers’ counter-attacks, which reaped their rewards when he created the West Ham goal as he accelerated forward and played a pass into Jesse Lingard before the ball finally found its way to Michail Antonio who tapped home into an empty net.

Coufal was only scouted and signed due to the injury that Ryan Fredericks picked up against Wolves at the beginning of the season, but it has turned out to be the greatest accident for West Ham in years.

Vladimir Coufal, West Ham.
Vladimir Coufal, West Ham. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) /

While that performance against City may have been his standout thus far this season, it is by no means an anomaly as he has been unbelievably consistent since his arrival from Sparta Prague last October.

Ever since his debut game, the Hammers’ 3-0 win away at Leicester, when he had completed a full 90 minutes in a Champions League qualifier just five days prior, he has slotted in seamlessly and has looked as though as he has been playing for the club for years.

Whether as a right wingback in a back five or a right-back in just a flat back four, Coufal rarely puts a foot wrong and quite fitting with his hard-man looking eastern European face, takes no prisoners.  He has a collection of the Premier League’s most lethal wingers fitting snug into his pocket and no player will fancy their chances when coming up against the Czech defender.

It is easy to forget that he is just 28 years old, too, as his old head on younger shoulders gives off the impression that he is a football veteran, such are his maturity levels.

This begs the question: Is Coufal one of the frontrunners to win this season’s edition of Hammer of the Year?

The likes of compatriot Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice, and Angelo Ogbonna are all deserving of being on this shortlist, too, but it could be argued that Coufal is the most consistent out of this elite group with his performance levels never failing to impress.

And what a year it would be to win it as West Ham sit 4th in the Premier League table with just 13 fixtures left to play and enjoying a season that nobody could have predicted before a ball was kicked.

Next. Race For Champions League: What West Ham Have To Do. dark

Either way, Coufal has undoubtedly been a revelation for this vibrant Hammers side and fans will hope that to be the case for many years to come.