Get the lowdown on the first big West Ham signing of Bilic era
Slaven Bilic’s first marquee signing as West Ham manager is all but a passed medical away, as Marseille maestro Dimitri Payet arrives in the capital to finalise a £14m deal.
The Frenchman’s switch to Upton Park has been both prolonged and controversial, after OM released a statement accusing the midfielder of reneging on an agreement to review his future at the Stade Velodrome in July.
Nonetheless, the club have accepted the Hammers’ offer and personal terms have been agreed, meaning it’s pretty safe for West Ham fans to start researching into their new man.
Well look no further than news.ladbrokes’ comprehensive dossier on the 28-year-old, who rubbed shoulders with some mighty lock-picking brethren on the football field last season.
In the campaign just passed, Payet was an assist machine, laying on 17 goals for his teammates in 36 Ligue 1 appearances and adding seven goals of his own to round off an impressive season.
Only Kevin De Bruyne, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi managed more than that, as the seven-cap French international played a key role in helping Marseille score the second-most goals in the division and finish fourth.
Although that tally was far and away Payet’s career best, he has been a pass-master before. In his final term with Lille in 2012/13, he registered 13 assists and 12 goals.
Clearly, West Ham have found themselves a creative hub to build themselves around, with the Saint-Pierre native looking to fill the number 10 role with greater consistency than Stewart Downing managed last term.
Although Downing started brightly, earning himself an England call-up in the process, he faded badly as the season wore on, likely pushing Bilic to strengthen in his position.
The Croatian is rated as an 11/8 chance to guide his new club to a top-10 finish in his first season in charge.
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