With the famous East End club fast approaching their much-awaited move to London’s Olympic Stadium, the 2015/16 campaign looks set to be an exciting, albeit emotional, one for West Ham.
Former player, Slaven Bilic, has finally been jetted in to replace the ever questionable Sam Allardyce in the Hammers dug-out, and as the potential for a long and memorable Europa League campaign awaits his new club throughout this coming season, the West Ham hierarchy seem to have a lot on their minds at the moment in terms of adequately sourcing new players and improving the overall squad at Upton Park.
And with the high profile signing of Olympique de Marseille’s Dimitri Payet having been finalised by the Hammers in recent weeks, it seems West Ham have already made a real statement of intent regarding the direction the club want to be heading in next term.
The 28-year-old Frenchman certainly looks like a promising new addition to Bilic’s squad as things stand. But just how effective will Payet prove for West Ham in 2015/16, and what does his recent signing ultimately represent for the club in the not too distant future?
Well, although many of the Upton Park faithful seemingly remain over the moon about their club’s latest marquee move in the transfer market, it must be remembered that the new-boy, Payet, isn’t quite a world beater just yet. And at 28-years-old, the marauding French attacker doesn’t exactly represent the most youthful option for the Hammers going forward either.
If last season’s Ligue 1 statistics are anything to go by, however, perhaps Payet himself is currently a player well and truly at the top of his game, and if Bilic can continue to get the best out of West Ham’s newest addition next season, Hammers fans from far and wide could realistically be witnessing a real talent at Upton Park across the 2015/16 campaign.
The quick-footed creative midfielder – who has previously enjoyed successful spells at both Saint-Etienne and Lille – registered the highest total of assists in the entire French top flight last season, 17, placing behind only Kevin de Bruyne, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi throughout the rest of Europe’s top five leagues.
The likes of Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll – should the lofty Englishman ever truly return to full fitness for the Hammers – will therefore be aided a great deal in the goal-scoring department next season thanks to the addition of West Ham’s latest French sensation.
As the France international also scored seven league goals last season to add to his impressive assisting ability, Payet must ultimately be considered one of European football’s hottest prospects ahead of the new campaign – which is something no West Ham fan will be taking lightly at the moment.
The former Marseille man has proven himself to be a shrewd leader in the final third when it comes to doing the business in front of goal. At the Stade Velodrome last term, Payet became a firm fans’ favourite for his match-winning qualities out on the pitch, improved tenacity in one-on-one situations and desire to bag the three points at almost all costs.
With such a promising talent on board West Ham fans ultimately have every reason to be excited by this latest development in the transfer market. Payet is a player certainly worthy of staking his claim in the Europa League next season – no doubt – so the Hammers do in-fact seem to be heading in the right direction after last campaign’s disappointing shortcomings.
As the likes of Loic Remy, Yohan Cabaye, Aymen Abdennour and even the potentially returning Alex Song have all be linked with future moves to the East End this summer, perhaps the excitement and sensation surrounding West Ham’s final season at the Boleyn Ground has only really just begun…