West Ham United’s superstar Frenchman, Dimitri Payet, has earned praise throughout the season, scoring some sensational free-kicks and doing terrific tricks, but should he beat the likes of Vardy, Mahrez and Kane to the Premier League Player of the Year prize?
When the Hammers snapped up Dimitri Payet from Marseille last summer, for what seems a measly £10.7million, it seemed no one else had really taken notice of the 29-year-old despite his superb season for the French side.
Having made his name at Saint Etienne, Payet moved to Lille to play his football with the likes of Eden Hazard and Joe Cole before departing to the south of France to play in the sky blue shirt of Marseille.
West Ham brought in Slaven Bilic last summer to replace Sam Allardyce, and immediately Bilic told the co-owners of the club to go for Payet, a player he had coveted at his time at Besiktas, but the move wasn’t to happen for the Turkish side, much to the Hammers benefit.
Even the most optimistic of West Ham fans wouldn’t have guessed the positive impact that Dimitri Payet has had on the team and around the club, both on and off the pitch.
The Frenchman quickly settled in at the Boleyn Ground and West Ham fans fell in love with the playmaker and crowned his glory with a heartfelt song exclaiming ‘We’ve got Payet, Dimitri Payet, I just don’t think you understand, he’s Super Slaven’s man, he’s better than Zidane, we’ve got Dimitri Payet’ that can be heard multiple times when the player is on the pitch.
There have been many other excellent performers in the league this season, Harry Kane has shone in his second season with the Spurs first team, and notably the Leicester trio of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’golo Kante are being touted for the player of the year prize alongside Payet.
Leicester have no doubt been the fairytale story of the season, as they currently stand seven points clear at the top, despite being rock bottom of the league a year ago. But the Hammers missed Payet through injury for two months of the season, the Hammers could well be in the top four or challenging Leicester for the title if the talisman had been fit.
Payet has scored some superb free-kicks this season, most recently a wonderful dead-ball finish against Palace, but his free-kicks against Manchester United in the FA Cup and for France in a recent friendly against Russia deserve to be mentioned too.
West Ham have locked up the Frenchman for another five seasons, despite the player only signing a five year contract last summer when he joined, that shows how valuable he is to the East London side ahead of the highly anticipated move to the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium and a terrific season that currently see them in sixth place.
Whoever becomes the Premier League Player of the Season will no doubt deserve it and any of the aforementioned are worthy winners, but my vote would go to West Ham’s superstar Frenchman Dimitri Payet.
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