On the 26th June 2015, Dimitri Payet was announced as a West Ham player from Marseille.
The French international, who was signed for a reported fee of £10 million, came to east London with a big reputation on his back after spending his entire career in his home country, and fans were excited about what their new signing could bring to the club at their final season at Upton Park.
Months after his move to West Ham, though, Payet admitted he was forced out by Marseille after the club needed to recoup finances after the signings of Florian Thauvin and Giannelli Imbula.
Here’s how West Ham fans reacted to the announcement of Payet’s signing…
@davidgold take a bow Mr Gold. Well done.
— Paul Cole (@DjPaulCole) June 26, 2015
@davidgold well done West Ham… Keep up the good work guys
— Jason Dale (@DaleJbdale2011) June 26, 2015
@davidgold Thanks Mr Gold, an unbelievable signing! COYI
— Darren Cox (@hammersmad) June 26, 2015
— Paul (@pauldavies7777) June 26, 2015
Just a reminder that we actually signed Dimitri Payet. I’m still in shock. pic.twitter.com/bkvhBAUqiS
— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) 28 June 2015
Still can’t quite believe we signed Dimitri Payet
— Stef (@StefGoodridge) 28 June 2015
@SkyBet odds on Dimitri Payet to winner hammer of the year in his first season?
— ˗ˏˋ JΔMES ˊˎ˗ (@JameswhufcJones) 27 June 2015
In his first season in the Premier League, Payet was a revelation for the Hammers where he scored nine goals in the league for the east London side.
His free-kicks against Manchester United in the FA Cup and Bournemouth in the league became the stuff of legend for West Ham fans, and his performances in the big games made him an instant favourite with the supporters in his only full season with the Hammers.
Payet was shortlisted for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award and was named West Ham’s Player of the Year. As well as winning plaudits from players and journalists, the creative midfielder was called up to the France national team for the upcoming EUROs, where the former Marseille man took his form from the league onto the international stage, scoring the winning goal in the opening game of the tournament and scoring against Albania and Iceland.
Despite an incredible first season in England and a breakout summer with the national team, Payet’s 2016/17 season was filled with drama as the Frenchman pushed for a move back home to France, resulting in performances to drop, and in the winter of 2017, the midfielder was sold back to Marseille.
Payet left east London on poor terms with the fans despite giving them one of the best seasons in the club’s history and is now a figure with mixed emotional baggage with the fanbase.
West Ham fans, would you take Payet back at the club now? Let us know!