Dimitri Payet has joined West Ham United for £10.7million, and has revealed the prospect of the club’s project played a key role in his decision.
The Hammers will play at their historic Boleyn Ground for the final time next season, and whilst it is sure to be an emotional campaign, there is also great excitement as they prepare to move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. Once there the club are sure to re-evaluate their ambitions, with regular European football and even a place in the UEFA Champions League likely to be a target.
Slaven Bilic will be the man responsible for leading them in their new era, after the former fans’ favourite succeeded Sam Allardyce earlier this summer. And it was the desire of the club and their Croatian head coach which persuade Payet, who has been capped 15 times by France, to leave Marseille to join West Ham on a five-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
“West Ham really showed me that they wanted me to come,” he told the official club website. “He (Bilic) made it clear that he wanted me to sign and that too was important in my choice. I was also keen to sign up to a clear project. West Ham’s is very interesting and matches perfectly with my ambitions. That they’re counting on me to help achieve that gives me a sense of responsibility.”
Payet created more chances than any other player in Europe’s top five league last season, setting up 135 opportunities for his team-mates. The 28-year-old will now play away from his homeland for the first time in his career, having previously represented Nantes, Saint Etienne, Lille and Marseille before being lured to England to test his talent in the Premier League from next term onwards.