Ace in Marseille On his contentious departure from West Ham United five and a half years ago, Dimitri Payet has spoken up.
In advance of tonight’s Champions League match between Marseille and Tottenham Hotspur, the 35-year-old was chatting with media.
After going to Upton Park in the summer of 2015, Payet spent 18 months with the Hammers and was absolutely exceptional during that time.
At West Ham, the now-35-year-old became popular right away. Payet scored 15 goals and provided 22 assists in 59 games with the Hammers (Transfermarkt).
He put on countless moments of spectacular brilliance, lighting up Upton Park and the London Stadium.
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Payet, however, reportedly had a falling out with the Hammers’ manager at the time, Slaven Bilic, and departed West Ham in January 2017 to return to Marseille for about £25 million (BBC).
It was a contentious departure, and many West Ham supporters were quite resentful of the Frenchman. But because a lot of time has gone, maybe now people will begin to get why he went.
Dimitri Payet admits West Ham is leaving
When asked why he left West Ham in 2017, the 38-cap France international gave a statement to reporters last night, as reported by Footbalondon:
“Sure, the Premier League helped me to realise a dream, I suppose. To play in the Premier League and to play in England because everyone dreams about playing here, particularly now when you look at the teams who are playing in the Premier League, it is getting stronger and stronger and a really tough league to play in. I spent 18 months full of emotions, excitement after Euro 2016 but no I don’t have any regrets. It was a choice I made, a personal choice and a family-based choice as well. Since I left West Ham I have stayed at Marseille, I haven’t gone to any other club and don’t intend on going to any other club, so it wasn’t leaving for the sake of leaving. It was a personal decision, a family decision and yeah, it was a pretty brutal break I suppose when I left, that’s true, but I hope over the course of the years West Ham fans have come to understand why I left, I would certainly like and hope to think that.”
It appears that Payet only desired returning home to be among his family.
Given how important the Frenchman was to him, Bilic could have been upset by it.
But it is what it is
Hopefully, the West Ham supporters no longer have animosity for Dimitri Payet. Water has flooded the bridge too much.
We will all be supporting the Frenchman tonight against Tottenham, that much is certain.