Former West Ham United star Dimitri Payet has today discussed his exit from the Olympic Stadium in an extensive interview with So Foot.
Having arrived in London from Marseille for a fee of £10.5 million in the summer of 2015, Payet immediately endeared himself to the Hammers fanbase with a string of sensational displays.
Magnificent free-kicks, sublime individual pieces of skill and world-class deliveries were just a few of the many traits brought by the French international to Upton Park, with the winger’s 9 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League earning him a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year award, as well as the title of West Ham’s Player of the Season.
However, the 2016/17 campaign proved a very different story, with Payet’s widely-reported (in France) attitude problems emerging in full force, leading to manager Slaven Bilic freezing him out of the club’s first-team squad.
The technically-gifted wide-man was eventually sold to former club Marseille for £25 million in January of this year, with the whole saga leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of Hammers supporters.
And, when questioned on the topic of his West Ham exit in the aforementioned interview with So Foot, Payet admitted that his decision was based on the direction in which the capital club were heading:
‘I left for many reasons, but the main one was about football: West Ham’s objectives weren’t the same as the last season, and I felt in danger for my football and my chances with the national team. I had a choice to make.’
In the aftermath of Payet’s departure, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic publicly criticised the 30-year-old for his poor attitude, with the French international today admitting that he does tend to make things difficult for his managers:
‘I know how to be a d***head. It’s one of my specialties. It’s a little game. When I want to piss everyone off, I do it. My managers understood that: when I sulk, they talk to me. It’s a way for me to be heard. Those who know me play along, and, in the end, it goes well.’