Dimitri Payet has provided the first real bombshell of the January transfer window. The opening couple of weeks have been more tumbleweed than market rough and tumble, with the big moves discussed by fans and pundits having not really come to fruition.
Alas, Slaven Bilic revealed on Thursday that West Ham’s key player wants out and that the toys-out-of-the-pram nature of the saga means that he will not feature for the club or train with his team-mates while it all bubbles (no pun intended) away. The only logical outcome, then, is Payet leaving before the end of the transfer window, and, although he supposedly has his heart set on a move back to France to re-join nouveau-riche Marseille, Chelsea are also in the mix.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 12, 2017
Even though the 29-year-old’s attitude is questionable in light of recent events, his statistics this season in a woefully average Hammers team are impressive enough to suggest that paying up for him over the coming weeks would be a logical move…
Let’s kick off with the standout number: 72 chances created. Granted, only six of those chances have been made into assists, but that says more about the quality of player Payet is surrounded by than his own shortcomings and is the highest return of any player in the Premier League – and more than one-third of the Irons’ total as a team. On top of this, he’s made 46 take-ons and got 81% of his passes to their intended target, which is a fine tally given that, as an advanced player, the balls he plays are generally riskier.
Maybe he wants to head back to his homeland, but should Chelsea put their money where their mouth is, the short trip across London could be one Payet makes.