West Ham thought they had a new Payet under Pellegrini, but he turned into a £36m flop – opinion

West Ham: The £36m Irons flop who was once compared to Dimitri Payet West Ham’s former record signing crumbled on the weight of expectation.

West Ham’s history in the transfer window is rather chequered, unearthing some gems, but failing dramatically in equal measure. It could be argued that the latter has been more prevalent across the past decade with their exertions across Europe unleashing more funds to spend.

For all of their overspending and inaccurate judgement when it comes to signing talent, as demonstrated with the arrivals of Sebastien Haller and Gianluca Scamacca previously, their transfer business this summer was surprisingly impressive.

Acquisitions like James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez were astute and have more than eased the blow of losing Declan Rice, while beating several clubs to the signature of Mohammed Kudus shows that the Hammers mean business in their aspirations for European football.

With that trio demonstrating an exceedingly bright future for West Ham, it hasn’t been the only occasion that the club have hit the jackpot in the recruitment department.

In the summer of 2015, Slaven Bilic worked his magic by prizing Dimitri Payet away from Marseille for £10.7m and the Frenchman would go on to become a club icon.

How many appearances did Payet make for West Ham?When Payet arrived at West Ham, he oozed class, quality and the ability to produce the spectacular as some of the greatest ever Premier League goals were conjured up from his wand of a right foot.

While Hammers supporters are excited by what they’re seeing in the present day as Jarrod Bowen, Kudus and Ward-Prowse are leading their charge towards Europe, they will find it difficult to eclipse the number of outrageous moments that Payet came up with in claret and blue.

Lauded as being “one of the most important players in Europe” at the time by French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane, that level of praise from someone of Zidane’s ilk shows how highly regarded he was in the world of football during this purple patch.

Making just 60 appearances for the club, Payet elevated himself into the realm of world-class as he chalked up 23 goals and 15 assists for the Irons, and left supporters awestruck with what they were watching, especially in the 2015/16 season.

With 21 goal contributions in 30 Premier League matches, those insane numbers saw him cap a tremendous campaign off by scooping the PFA Player of the Year award.

Although the Frenchman endured a fast fall from grace and left the club on a sour note in 2017, Payet’s otherworldly technique, impeccable vision and outrageous ability from set pieces will always be fondly remembered in east London.

The maverick’s legacy has remained untouched since departing the club, but when the Hammers broke their transfer record to sign Felipe Anderson in 2018, many, including talkSPORT reporter Joe Coleman, thought the Brazilian could be their second coming of Payet.

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