Dimitri Payet showed his class again over the international break. For France, his assist and goal in the second half won it for Les Blues against Sweden on Friday. While it is amazing to see a West Ham player make such an impact on the international stage, it does not help the Hammers’ chances of holding onto their star past the January transfer window. His performances surely caught the attention once more of the world’s top clubs.
The 29-year-old has had a slower start for West Ham but still is tied for sixth in the Premier League with four assists. He also marveled against Middlesbrough with this run and goal past five defenders and goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.
Payet told French television show Telefoot following West Ham’s 1-1 draw on November 5 that he has not ruled out a January move away from East London. There is every possibility the playmaker will earn his big money move.
“We’ve had a very poor start. Leave in January? I’m asking other questions right now but I’ve closed the door to nothing,” Payet said.
“Until now, I always chose my clubs depending on the sports project. I work like that. Until I can play at a level like this, it will be the case. Go to PSG or Marseille? For now, they have not come to me, so I do not ask myself.”
West Ham’s project initially attracted the Frenchman to England’s capital, and West Ham Joint-Chairman David Sullivan is determined to keep him. The rocky start to the season, finding the Hammers in 17th in the Premier League, has made the going tough at their new London Stadium home, though.
“Dimitri has had an outstanding year and has become a vital player for France and I am so proud that he is a West Ham player,” Sullivan told the official club website.
“He has played 16 times for his country in 2016, scoring seven goals and assisting five more, and inspiring them to the final of the European Championship. Dimi signed a new long-term contract in February, pledging his future to this Club, and it is very much our intention that he remains with us for years to come.”
Despite the confidence from Sullivan, if Payet wants to leave, he will. While Payet has not thought of a move to PSG yet, if a large bid comes from the Paris giants as they search for an extra push in the Champions League, it will surely be an enticing option.
No matter how much David Gold and Sullivan want to say they would reject any bid for Payet, €60 million from the Parisian club may force their hand. Primarily, pressure from Payet himself would certainly speed the process.
Slaven Bilic is known to get rid of distractions in his locker room. Morgan Amalfitano’s West Ham days were quickly ended after a rift between the two, and Diafra Sakho was destined for the same ending. The Senegalese striker failed his medical at West Brom after skipping the majority of training over the summer, and if not for the Hammers’ desperate need for a striker, Sakho would not be as close to a return as he is now, potentially being named in the squad against Tottenham.
Perhaps I’m a pessimist, but Payet’s days seem numbered at West Ham. The chant may be “We lost Payet” before long if the team’s rut of form continues.