West Ham complete Dimitri Payet purchase from Marseille
West Ham United, 2/1 chances with Coral to break into the Premier League’s top 10 in the upcoming season, have signed Marseille and France attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet on an five-year deal, with the option to extend for a further year, for a reported fee of £10.7m.
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The signing of the highly-rated Frenchman is somewhat of a coup for the Hammers, and Payet spoke of his decision to choose the London club, stating: “West Ham really showed me that they wanted me to come, both the Joint-Chairmen and the manager. That’s very important for me. I was also keen to sign up to a clear project. West Ham’s is very interesting and matches perfectly with my ambitions.
“I’m very happy to be here. It’s true that it’s taken a little while but that’s normal, negotiations are like that. But now that it’s done, I’m very happy,” added the former Lille and Nantes star, who hit 21 Ligue 1 assists last term.
During a decade-long senior career in Ligue 1, the 28-year-old has made almost 100 assists across all competitions and topped this chart last term. Payet follows a steady stream of creative French footballers, including Hatem Ben Arfa, Remy Cabella (rumoured to have been lined up by Marseille as a replacement), Yohan Cabaye and Samir Nasri in crossing the Channel.
New Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has swiftly followed up the capture of Pedro Obiang with a big money buy. Only target man Andy Carroll has cost the east London outfit more than Payet, who will link up with former Stade Velodrome teammate Morgan Amalfitano at Upton Park.
With West Ham beginning their Europa League campaign in the first qualifying round following a Fair Play entry in early July, Payet could make his debut for them against Andorran outfit FC Lusitans.
The exciting French international, capped seven times for his country, would certainly fit in with the Hammers’ mooted change of style, with a return to the so-called ‘West Ham way’ of attacking, attractive football and flair players potentially in the offing.
Speaking of his role in the London club’s style of play, Payet stated: “I’m an attacking footballer so for sure I like attacking football and that they’re counting on me to help achieve that gives me a sense of responsibility. The fact that I’m here is also down to that.”
Current West Ham playmaker Stewart Downing has been linked with Sunderland recently, or a return to boyhood club Middlesbrough, though as both the 30-year-old winger and new signing Payet are versatile enough to play anywhere across attacking midfield, the prospect of the pair teaming up is tantalising.
More to follow.