West Ham are an ambitious club looking to move up and challenge at the very top of the Premier League over the next five years after moving into the Olympic Stadium in the summer of 2016. They have showed their ambition by removing Sam Allardyce who had done a good job at Upton Park, to appoint Slaven Bilic. The Croatian has less experience than Allardyce in the Premier League, but he is well respected across Europe, which highlights the club’s desire to become regulars in European competition. He will also attract some players who would have otherwise been out of the Hammers’ reach.
Dimitri Payet has been linked heavily with West Ham over recent weeks and they appear to be chasing the winger unchallenged, leaving them favourites for one of the most creative players in Europe last season. The Frenchman will be a coup for West Ham if they manage to complete the deal. The rumoured price tag is around the £14m mark, which West Ham are reportedly are ready to meet over the next few days.
Last season, the Frenchman was one of the top performers in Ligue 1, scoring 7 goals and bagging an extremely impressive 17 assists. At the age of 28, Payet will be looking to test himself in another league and see if he can show his quality in a different environment as it could be the key to securing a place in the French 2016 European Championship squad. France will be one of the favourites going into the tournament and competition for places will be high. If Payet shows he can perform in England as well as Ligue 1, he could even find himself entering the tournament as a starting player.
The Marseille player can play anywhere behind the striker, while he can also play in central midfield. His versatility is another reason why West Ham will be pursuing him as they need a deeper squad with the Europa League on the horizon. The competition has affected the league form of several Premier League clubs over recent seasons and West Ham need to make sure that their squad can stand up to the task.
Payet is an effective set piece taker, while he is also a dangerous shooter from range. He likes to drop into the pockets of space in front of the defence and play through balls to team mates making clever runs. Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho both have the pace to make dangerous runs, which will give Payet the opportunity to create chances and make his impact on the Premier League.
West Ham have a big summer ahead of them as they need to get a squad together quickly with their competitive matches starting next month in the Europa League, which gives Bilic little time to assess the squad and get his main targets in. Dimitri Payet would be a great start to the club’s summer business and he would represent West Ham’s ambition to become a top 8 club.