Dimitri Payet’s France snub not the worst thing for West Ham
He may be setting the English top flight alight, but it is looking increasingly likely that Dimitri Payet won’t be on the plane home to represent France at Euro 2016.
The West Ham man has wowed both Hammers fans and neutrals alike with his dazzling displays this term, most recently when scoring twice and assisting another in their 5-1 FA Cup victory against Blackburn.
However, despite his performances inclusion in the French squad in the summer is looking increasingly unlikely.
Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps explained his reasons for not selecting the 28-year-old for any of the nation’s last six matches.
“I’ve already called and I have already spoken to him about it. I said that I expected more from him than he (produced) when he was with us.
“It was not enough. In the France team, he does not do the same thing (as he does) in his club.”
When pressed as to whether there was a personal problem with Payet, Deschamps was dismissive.
“Problems of attitude for Payet? No these are false problems,” he said.
“As if I could not manage players… It is a choice about football based on the other competition.”
But while the snub from his national team boss will undoubtedly be a bitter pill for the player to swallow, it might not necessarily be the worst thing in the world for his club.
Having arrived at Upton Park for £11m last summer, you’d be hard pushed to say that Payet’s value hasn’t increased in that time.
And although a trip to the Euros would allow him to strut his stuff on the world stage, and potentially increase his value further, attracting even more suitors wouldn’t be ideal for the east London club.
A new five-and-a-half year contract was signed this month, but past events tell you that all that means these days is that a bigger fee will need to be paid by the interested party.
Should one of the bigger clubs that can afford such an outlay on Payet become keen to sign him, it is easy to see the midfielder show at least some sign of interest.
Seeing their team’s players called up to represent their country will also hold one particular bad memory for Hammers fans too.
Having bagged six goals in 16 appearances after arriving from Norwich in January 2006, Dean Ashton was called up to the England squad for a friendly against Greece.
However, in one of Ashton’s first training sessions with the Three Lions a heavy tackle from Shaun Wright-Phillips resulted in a broken ankle that would ultimately lead him to an early retirement three years later.
Ashton’s case is an extreme one, but keeping Payet wrapped up in cotton wool over the summer can ensure that West Ham can minimise the risk of injury to their star man.
His international snub may seem harsh given the performances he’s been putting in this term, but keeping Payet away from biggest stage, for now at least, might not be the worst thing for his club.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.