The ink is dried and it’s official: Dimitri Payet, the once hero of West Ham has transferred back to his home club of Marseille for 25 million pounds and it’s not a trumpets and roses send off for the star that helped bring West Ham up the table at blistering speed.
The club’s statement itself is concise and entirely focused on the disagreeable terms of his departure:
“The club would like to place on record its sincere disappointment that Dimitri Payet did not show the same commitment and respect to West Ham United that the club and fans showed him, particularly when it rewarded him with a lucrative new five-and-half-year deal only last year.”
While ultimately everything the club is saying is true, it doesn’t change that they are the one’s that off-loaded Payet for a big pay-day (bought last year for 10.7m pounds, and sold back to Marseilles for 25m pounds) when they could.
And while the fans, who put Payet up in the rafters after one year, can brandish the torches and pitchforks– the organization as a whole would have been better with a focus on moving forward rather than holding grudges.
The West Ham chairman’s son, Jack Sullivan, who is known to be a bit of a firebrand, didn’t pull any punches, tweeting:
West Ham supporters quickly followed suit:
One person that wasn’t having any of it was West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, who flat out said that Payet doesn’t owe him or the fans an apology.
“Does he owe an apology? No. I wouldn’t say that,”
“Players are always moving and I’m not going that deep into what he should say or shouldn’t. He is gone, he went home, that was his wish and I will not forget how good he was for us.”
“I want to thank him for everything he did for us – he was brilliant last year. We were brilliant for him also. Now that story’s finished I wish him luck and all the best in Marseilles.”
Bilic’s professionalism should be appreciated, especially in the face of the club statement, and while he’s right players are always moving– Dimitri Payet’s career has been marred with suspicions of his dedication.
He’s been a question mark for the French international team, originally made the transfer request at Marseilles, and then backed out of a 5 and a half year deal after only one year. It’s unlikely that another major club– Premier League or otherwise, will take a risk on him, or at least will only sign him on has a journey man status of 1 to 2 years at a time.
At what might be the height of his talent, or worse while he’s still developing, Payet’s returned to a less prestigious level of play that will only invite a plateau of his talents. In a player’s market, that alone makes it unlikely that Payet ever play on a grand stage again.
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