This time last season, Dimitri Payet could seemingly do no wrong in front of the loyal Upton Park faithful. His ability to dazzle the crowd with a string of impressive exploits inside the final third was truly phenomenal, and after achieving worldwide recognition with France at Euro 2016 last summer, many were expecting big things of the former Marseille man back among the Premier League.
Since the 2016/17 campaign finally got underway however, Payet has watched his current Hammers teammates fall off the boil rather dramatically. For one reason or another, almost everything that could have gone wrong with Slaven Bilic’s determined outfit this term, has gone wrong.
So then, as the Hammers hierarchy could theoretically recoup a rather healthy figure for a player who will nonetheless be approaching the wrong side of thirty this year – must West Ham take the decision to part ways with Dimitri Payet at the next available opportunity, or would such a decision simply represent top-flight suicide for the Hammers?
It's not all about sell on value. You buy a player to improve the team at the time and for the future. You don't buy to bloody sell.
— Diafra_Payet (@Diafra_Payet) 10 January 2017
If we sell Payet then £10M will be used for a replacement & £20M will go into the boards back pockets, so why would anyone want to sell him?
— Gone Until RB/ST (@WestHamStuff) 8 January 2017
Well, although the Frenchman’s reported £40 – £50 million price-tag would certainly seem somewhat tempting for the Hammers board on paper, sourcing a player of Dimitri Payet’s undoubted quality is a task much easier said than done. That money wouldn’t necessarily find its way back into Slaven Bilic’s starting XI after all, despite the often overlooked expectations of the West Ham faithful.
The Hammers aren’t exactly placing the fear of god into their opponents after all the recent teething problems that have taken place down at their new home this season, London’s Olympic Stadium – but without someone of Payet’s ability on the ball and sheer technique inside the final third to count upon – West Ham’s chances of winning those all-important matches will be severely worsened, there is simply no debate about that.
In other words, if West Ham did eventually see fit to sell Dimitri Payet to a rival club on the continent – then everything the fans were promised in regard to pushing on for Champions League qualification and eventually developing into a world class club – will seemingly evaporate into thin air largely overnight, leaving the Hammers faithful mightily grumbled to say the very least.
But then again, it also remains somewhat hard to envisage a recent Ballon d’Or nominee actually sticking it out among a hard-fought relegation dog-fight when the likes of PSG or Real Madrid could reportedly come a-callin’. Regardless of where the Hammers eventually end up this term, everything seems to suggest that Payet is in-fact on his way out one way or another.
Such a move would therefore signal a strong step in the wrong direction for West Ham – yet as the man in question hasn’t exactly dazzled the Hammers faithful of late with his recent string of ineffectual – and at times, uninterested performances – maybe some West Ham supporters would actually be glad to see the back of the man who could once do no wrong down in the East-End of London, Dimitri Payet.