West Ham United are now a club on the rise, having replaced David Moyes with former English top-flight winner, Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean boss is busy adding quality to his squad and has already signed two fresh faces this summer. The latest name they are being linked with is Dimitri Payet.
Having established himself at the highest level with Saint Etienne in Ligue 1, the 31-year old joined West Ham back in 2015 and spent just over a year at the club, before asking to be sold in January 2017. Slaven Bilic, who was then the manager at the club, could not take any more of his tantrums and decided to sell him back to Marseille for just £11.5m.
However, before he was sold, the French playmaker picked up 15 goals and 23 assists in just 60 games for the Hammers and turned into a fan favourite in less than a year. He was a part of the PFA Team of the Year and was West Ham’s Player of the Season in his debut campaign in London. Soon after, the French sensation decided to quit the club, after they were struggling in the relegation zone.
Even at 31, Payet showed great quality in the Europa League last season and picked up more assists in the competition than any other player. He also registered 10 goals and 20 assists in just 45 appearances in all competitions for Marseille but was unlucky to miss out on a place in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad.
He is versatile and can add goals and creativity to this side and is a decent acquisition for the Hammers. At his age, he may not be a long-term option but reports now suggest that Pellegrini is open to bringing Payet back to the club this summer.
The story has been fuelled by Marseille’s financial miseries, as they could be forced to sell a few of their first team stars, before the start of next season. It is understood that the French giants have offered Payet to West Ham, hoping he would find a new home and raise some funds at Orange Velodrome.
He has three years left on his contract with Les Phocéens, and could available on the cheap. However, the bitter taste he left with his exit from London in January 2017 will still be fresh in the fans’ minds.
He was a cherished by the West Ham faithful, only for them to turn against him when he wanted to leave. So it will be interesting to see if the fans at West Ham are ready to have him back at the club. But to improve the squad, he is a no-brainer for Pellegrini.
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