Monday, April 24, 2017

Keeping Payet shows West Ham are serious – Bilic

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Aug 2016

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Slaven Bilic hopes retaining France star Dimitri Payet will go some way to ending West Ham’s reputation as a selling club.

Payet followed a stellar first season in the Premier League with some dazzling performances on France’s run to the final of Euro 2016.

Seeing his prized asset shine on the biggest stage was arguably a dubious pleasure for Bilic, but West Ham are set to contest their debut season at the London Stadium with Payet among their ranks – something of a break from the past, according to their manager.

“With keeping Dimitri Payet we wanted to show that the club is serious when you are talking about new players or trying to get the club to another level and that shows me as much as a new stadium – even more,” Bilic told Sky Sports.

“Because West Ham have always been labelled as a club who have had to sell their best players whether that is Frank Lampard or Rio Ferdinand or whoever.

“But we showed that the club is thinking serious. We lost some players, some were on loan, we lost James Tomkins who went to Palace.

“We have got a few and we are happy we have done good business with [Havard] Nordtveit and [Sofiane] Feghouli, who are really great players who were free.”

Payet will be reunited with his former Marseille team-mate Andre Ayew, who secured a move to West Ham earlier this week having impressed in his debut Premier League campaign for Swansea City.

“His big advantage is, first of all, he was in a big, big club like Olympique Marseille,” Bilic added.

“He is an international, he is he captain of Ghana, he is at his best age [26] and he has spent already one year in the Premier League so it is nothing new for him.

“Sometimes attacking players need some time but the players are good with how they really make you feel at home after a few days, so I am sure we can expect some good football from the newcomers straight away.”

West Ham’s opening Premier League game is a London derby at Chelsea next Monday.

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