In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that had many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
When Dimitri Payet signed for West Ham United from Marseille ahead of the final season at Upton Park, he seemed like he could be a pretty decent signing at a little over £10m, as reported by BBC Sport, as this followed a season in which he scored seven goals and assisted 21 in 36 games, as per Transfermarkt.
While there will have been many who were excited to see what he could offer in claret and blue, there won’t have been many who could predict the impact he would have on West Ham.
The Frenchman captured the imagination of a fanbase with his skill, technique and ability to do things with the ball that seemed to laugh in the face of science during that campaign.
There was the free-kick in the FA Cup against Manchester United, his dipping effort and cheeky chip against Crystal Palace, the goals against AFC Bournemouth and, of course, the two assists that were integral to winning the final game at Upton Park.
It can even be suggested that, along with Mark Noble, Payet was the Boleyn Ground’s last ever hero.
His performances were even enough to earn a place in the France team for Euro 2016, a tournament in which he scored three goals and assisted two, which clearly brought Hammers manager Slaven Bilic an immense sense of pride, as was later highlighted by The Mirror.
Things soured after the 2016/17 season started, but even then, he came up with moments of brilliance in a West Ham shirt, such as his rabona assist against Watford and incredible solo goal against Middlesbrough.
The club statement upon his departure, which focused on the disappointment at his conduct rather than the positive things he had done, indicated just how much he had alienated himself in East London.
With years having passed since Payet left to rejoin Marseille, West Ham fans are still split in their opinion on him, with some remembering the good times, while others have been unable to forgive him for the way he left, showing that he will be remembered by many.
West Ham fans, what are your opinions on Payet? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!