Speak to any West Ham fan, and they will have very fond memories of Dimitri Payet’s time and the club, and very bad memories of his departure.
The Frenchman arrived in east London in the summer of 2015 for a fee of around £10m, and did not take long to win over the fans.
In his first season with The Hammers, he managed nine goals and 12 assists, and quickly became their star man and fan-favourite. However, the midfielder grew increasingly unhappy with life at the London Stadium during his second season, and after only a few months told manager Slaven Bilić that he no longer wanted to play for the club. He was subsequently sold to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille in January 2017 for £25m, in a departure that embittered the fans.
The fans took to Twitter to vent their anger and hurl a tirade of abuse at the mercurial Frenchman. Very rarely do departures go down this badly amongst the fans, particularly after what he had given the club.
This is what the fans had to say:
Finally. Goodbye snake
— West Ham Stuff (@WestHamStuff) January 29, 2017
— P™ (@Cechque) 29 January 2017
— TontonLyonnais (@TontonLyonnais) 29 January 2017
— (@SteeleWHUFC) 29 January 2017
We just don’t want you anymore
— Benjy (@BenjyLeak) 29 January 2017
good riddance. Don’t want to hear that name again associated with this club. Awful attitude
— Steve Missen (@fenhammer) 29 January 2017
good riddance, made our club look stupid
— callum dawson (@CNHD_) 29 January 2017
— J B (@irosjkb) 29 January 2017
good riddance – great player but a rotten person
— PJMN (@PJMN1) 29 January 2017
It’s been a mixed bag for The Hammers since Payet left, which has seen them sack manager Bilić, as well as get sucked into a relegation battle. On the other hand, the midfielder continued his good form with the French club.
However, things are much brighter for West Ham now under Manuel Pellegrini, but it is fair to say that it took a while for the club to get over a player that was so loved by the fans during his brief, but successful, stint in east London.