Written by Carl Walker
‘We’ve got Payet, Dimitri Payet’ has rung out and echoed around stadiums in England for the past eighteen months, but after the player refused to train and play for West Ham again last week it look like we may have heard the end of that song from the Hammers faithful. Last week’s revelation from Slaven Bilic rocked West Ham fans after claiming the player has told him he doesn’t want to play for the club again. Bilic also confirmed he will not be allowed to train with the group again until his attitude has improved.
This has also put some of Europe’s and now the mega money far east clubs in China on high alert as they begin to scrap it out for his signature, and West Ham already have claimed they have rejected a £19million bid from former club Marseille. In his time at West Ham, Payet has been a success and had become pretty much a fan favourite. Skillful and full of flair he has also become a secret weapon from dead ball situations, scoring some sublime free kicks, most notably against Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
Slaven Bilic’s original stance on the matter was that they player will not be sold, however after a dominant and confident display from his side at the weekend against Crystal Palace, the stance seems to have softened. West Ham’s 3-0 win showed that, they could end up stronger as a unit without the mercurial Frenchman (fitness providing).
Saturdays game saw the fans show their disappointment at the news, with some fans wiping their feet on a Payet shirt and even spitting on it as they entered the turnstiles. This news really does top off a torrid six months for West Ham. Problems within their new home, after the move, fumbling through the transfer window and failing to land the players they wanted has seen frustrations grow.
Last night Payet came out and spoke for the first time since the debacle saying that the reason he wants to move is because he and his family are homesick and want to move back to the south of France. This move would also not be financially motivated, to back up the homesick claims, as he has apparently turned down mega money offers from China and moving back to Marseille would see a drop in wages. If Dimitri Payet would of said this at the beginning, rather than going into exile the West Ham fans may have understood or at least been more understanding however it seems now that all bridges have been burned and West Ham should sell and prepare for life with him in order for harmony to be restored.
As previously mentioned West Ham enjoyed a superb win, at home, last weekend and this could help speed up the sale of their talisman. Either that or they dig their heels in and hold off on selling until the summer possibly seeing a decrease in market value. Here is how they could line up without him for the remainder of the season.
As the days roll by and the window is still open, West Ham’s stance seems to softening and it looks like a bid in the region of £25million could be enough for West Ham to allow Payet to leave, with the destination being his former club Marseille, and the money from the sale could be used to strengthen key areas of the team after two abysmal transfer windows.
Like for Like replacement.
A like for like replacement for Payet could be Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea. The Swans star man has easily been the best player for them this season and with Swansea rooted to the bottom of the table, and arguably having a more turbulent season than West Ham, could easily have his head turned for the right money and if Swansea continue to slide he will most definitely be sold in the summer. Swansea’s owners have already demonstrated a lack of football knowledge and are onto their third manager this season already. A bid in the region of £20million would give them food for thought.
There is also a massive questions over a centre half partner for Winston Reid. Reid has been superb this season but the lack of a settled partner is worrying. Collins is susceptible to injury and Ogbonna is rash in his decision making, the sale of Payet could be used to strengthen the backline.
West Ham have been linked with several different defenders but none that are centre half’s as Bilic looks to strengthen his full back’s. Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal, Danilo D’ambrosio from Inter and Davide Santon also from Inter have been linked with moves to the Olympic Stadium.
The only realistic option available now for both parties is that West Ham agree to sell Payet, the West Ham faithful feel let down by his actions and the timing is not great. Payet only signed a new five year deal in the summer and collected a very generous loyalty bonus not too long ago, so you can see why its angered the fans.
In order for West Ham to put this nightmare six months behind them, it’s looking increasingly likely they will have to do it Payet free.
What should West Ham do? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by dom fellowes