Dimitri Payet signs!
West Ham United are delighted to confirm the signing of the exceptional France international Dimitri Payet.
The outstanding 28-year-old joins the Hammers on a five-year contract, with a further one-year option, for an undisclosed eight-figure fee from French Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille.
Blessed with superlative technical skills, exceptional vision and an inventive range of passing, Payet operates to great effect from his preferred central attacking midfield position, and is sure to add eye-catching flair and creativity to Slaven Bilic’s side.
Payet, who becomes West Ham’s third senior summer signing following the captures of Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph, is looking forward to bringing his formidable talent to the Barclays Premier League.
Payet said the Club's determination to bring him to east London played a huge part in him deciding to end his hugely successful spell in French football.
The player spoke to Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and new manager Slaven Bilic before putting pen to paper on his West Ham contract.
“West Ham really showed me that they wanted me to come, both the Joint-Chairmen and the manager," Payet told whufc.com. "That’s very important for me. I was also keen to sign up to a clear project. West Ham’s is very interesting and matches perfectly with my ambitions.
“Firstly I spoke with the manager, who really wished for me to come here and had been watching me a lot. He made it clear that he wanted me to sign and that too was important in my choice.
“I’m an attacking footballer so for sure I like attacking football and that they’re counting on me to help achieve that gives me a sense of responsibility. The fact that I’m here is also down to that.
“I’m very happy to be here. It’s true that it’s taken a little while but that’s normal, negotiations are like that. But now that it’s done, I’m very happy."
A top-class player, Payet made more successful through balls than any player in Europe’s top five leagues last season, bar Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and chalked up a phenomenal 17 assists in 36 league appearances for Marseille.
With seven goals to his name too, it is clear the 5’9 player possesses the rare ability to both cut defences apart with his passing, and exploit the spaces created with his finishing.
It is a further mark of Payet’s influence on the game that he has recorded 51 assists over the past six Ligue 1 seasons with Saint-Etienne, Lille and Marseille.
Born on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, the Hammers new boy began his career playing for local clubs Saint-Philippe and Saint-Pierroise before moving to metropolitan France to join Le Havre at the age of 12 in 1999.
After returning to Reunion for a two-year spell with AS Excelsior, the 18-year-old Payet moved to Ligue 1 side Nantes in 2005 and made his first-team debut against Bordeaux in December of that year.
Payet scored on his first professional start against Lille in September 2006, but Nantes were relegated at the season’s end and the midfielder remained in Ligue 1 by joining Saint-Etienne. There, he helped Les Verts to qualify for the UEFA Cup, scoring on his European debut against Hapoel Tel Aviv in September 2008.
As he continued to mature, Payet’s influence grew. He scored a career-best 13 goals in 2010/11 to earn a senior France debut in a 2-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Romania, during which he laid on his country’s second goal.
That form also saw the midfielder catch the eye of French champions Lille, and he linked up with West Ham great Joe Cole and Belgium star Eden Hazard at Les Dogues in summer 2011.
Payet played UEFA Champions League football with Lille, enjoying one of the best seasons of his career in 2012/13, when he totalled 12 goals and 13 assists and appeared in all 38 Ligue 1 matches.
Marseille spent a reported €11m to take the player to France’s second-largest city in summer 2013, and he has continued to impress regularly over the past two years, recording 15 goals and 21 assists in 71 league appearances for L’OM.
In total, Payet has netted 60 goals in 332 club appearances.
Payet’s abilities have seen him capped 15 times by France, scoring once, in a friendly international against Belgium in Paris last month.
Read more at http://www.whufc.com/News/Articles/2015/June/26-June/Dimitri-Payet-signs!#KAGvrQvyHgMSzd4u.99