West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that Dimitri Payet was his primary transfer target when he was assigned as manager of the Hammers, according to reports from the London Evening Standard.
Payet arrived from Marseille in a £10.7million deal back in June following an impressive season in the French top flight, in which the attacking midfielder scored seven goals and made 21 assists.
And the 28-year-old has arrived in the Premier League like a duck to water, scoring a brace in Monday night’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United to mark the Irons’ first home win and his third goal of the campaign.
Bilic admitted that he even tried to sign Payet when he was in charge of Besiktas last year, and is not at all surprised by his adaptation to England.
“I’m not surprised but only surprised he gelled in straight away,” he said.
“I was surprised when we got him. I told the chairman he was my first choice and then in five days it was done. Last year I tried to take him to Besiktas but It was impossible.
The Croatian manager went on to claim that Payet not only scores goals, but he makes players around him even better footballers.
“It’s not only that he decides games by scoring but he makes the players around him better. And he is working hard. Those two things are the most valuable things you can get from one player.
“Some guys are great goal-scorers but they are not good to make other players better.He is both. That’s why we are very, very happy.”
West Ham face a tough task next weekend when they travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City, who have won all five of their league games so far this season.