Joe Cole has praised West Ham for keeping Mohamed Diame at the club - despite speculation about a possible January exit.
The Senegalese international was heavily linked with a deadline day move across London with Arsenal and Tottenham reportedly triggering his £3.5m release clause.
And Cole told talkSPORT, ahead of the Hammers' trip to Aston Villa this weekend, that it is vital they hold on to their best players to move the club forward.
“Mohamed Diame is a good player. He's young and not been in the Premier League long, but he’s already made a big impact here. It’s important for us to keep our best players and he falls into that category”
The former Liverpool midfielder is expecting a difficult game at Villa Park and, after their home win against Swansea, Cole is looking for an improvement in West Ham’s away form.
“We can be positive now and look up the table. Our away form has not been good enough and we need to take something from the Villa game and get to forty points as quick as we can,” he added.
“The manager (Paul Lambert) has put a lot of faith in young talented players and Villa Park is always a tough place to go, but we need to concentrate on what we are doing.”
You can listen to live exclusive national radio commentary of Aston Villa v West Ham this Sunday from 1:30pm only on talkSPORT