Dimitri Payet has been an enigma of sorts since moving to West Ham United from Marseille in the summer of 2015. The Londoners paid a reported 10.7 million pounds for him at the time. Payet went on to more than just justify that price-tag, sizzling in the league as West Ham finished in a respectable 7th place.
Payet scored 9 goals and laid on 12 assists to his teammates, including a few spectacular strikes and free kicks that won him several accolades during his first season in England. His second season, though, in comparison, has been a rather disappointing one. Following special performances at the Euro 2016, his stock went up and there was speculation that he could be on the move.
Although there was widespread speculation regarding his future as a Hammer in the summer, he stayed put and witnessed West Ham’s change of stadium. Their new home ground hasn’t brought much luck to them or to Payet in particular, as he struggled for form since returning with a lot of fatigue following the Euro 2016 tournament.
West Ham finds themselves in 13th place in the table, a far cry from last season’s performances which took them on the brink of Europe. A lot of blame will have to be taken by Slaven Bilic for getting his summer transfer window wrong. Following a 7th placed finish, West Ham really should have brought in more quality to supplement the likes of Dimitri Payet, Andy Caroll and Michael Antonio.
Failures in the transfer market and untimely injuries to many key players have meant that West Ham have struggled for consistency and it was only recently that a run of good form took them slightly above the dreaded relegation zone. Under such circumstances, it is only natural that Bilic would like to keep his best players at the club in order to finish the season strongly.
But Payet recently dropped a bombshell by refusing to train with the team in order to force a move to another club. This behaviour will irk the manager and fans alike, as they stood by him when he needed their support. But at a time when the club is in trouble, the player has opted to act in a way that would portray him as a fair-weather player.
Although this will disappoint West Ham hugely, they cannot let his star quality get to them and must deal with it in a professional way that does not affect the other players at the club, who could be swayed by Payet’s individualistic actions. Having said that, Payet is definitely replaceable and there are several players who might not be superior to Payet, but they are certainly capable of getting the job done.
Here are 3 like-for-like replacements for Payet, if the Frenchman is sold by West Ham –
West Ham recently had a bid for Snodgrass turned out, as well as a failed bid for Defoe. Scotsman Snodgrass is someone that could definitely add a lot to the West Ham ranks. Aged similar to Payet, he has a wand of a left foot and can create and take chances by himself when needed. He has been involved in half of Hull City’s goals this season, either as a scorer or one that provided the assist. He has 7 goals and 2 assists to his name.
That is certainly a high tally and will encourage Bilic to up the previously turned down bid by Hull City. Although Hull would be against selling Snodgrass midway through a relegation battle, they could accept if a suitable offer came in for their midfield genius. Snodgrass, like Payet, is an excellent free kick taker and this will all the more encourage Bilic to part with the money required to bring Snodgrass to the club.