Safe to say, West Ham‘s move to the London Stadium hasn’t gone as planned.
Whilst fans skirmish amongst the terraces, performances on the pitch have lacked the same level of fighting spirit – not to mention quality.
The Hammers find themselves just one point and one place above the relegation zone after eleven games and accordingly appear under threat of losing their star man, talismanic attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet.
The east London club’s league standing is evidence enough, especially when contrasted with the Frenchman’s Ballon d’Or nomination – despite him signing a new contract earlier this year.
“Leave in January? I’m asking other questions but I’m not closing the door to anything. It’s always the sports project that interests me. I work like that and until I play at a level like this, it will be the case.”
Overall, the signs don’t look good for West Ham – especially after an underwhelming draw with Stoke City last weekend – and the stats suggest they face an almighty fight to hold onto Payet. Here’s a look at THREE that prove they can’t.
A statistic you’re probably already familiar with, courtesy of Squawka; despite West Ham managing just eleven Premier League goals this term, the fifth fewest of any side, and Payet missing the first two games of the season, the Frenchman has created the most chances of any player in the division. He’s also claimed four assists, but that tally would be infinitely greater if the attacking midfielder was privy to a capable finisher, rather than loan flop Simone Zaza.
As you can see from our infographic, it’s not only chance creation where Payet is excelling. Indeed, he’s currently sixth throughout the Premier League for successful dribbles, tenth for efforts at goal per match (with an accuracy of 38%) and 15th for fouls won. If Payet can manage that in a team averaging 51% possession this season, his statistics will only further improve as part of a side expected to dominate the ball – such as rumoured suitors PSG.
Goals decide games and in that regard, a free kick specialist can be priceless. Although this table from Sky Sports is a little outdated, originally published two months ago, it highlights Payet’s reputation as one of the best in the business. Indeed, he boasted a higher success rate than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since the start of the 2015/16 season back in September, whilst Chelsea’s Willian is the only player involved in the English top flight to have scored more than him during that same time period. It’s yet another aspect of Payet’s armoury that makes him such an invaluable match-winner.