With speculation circling the future of West Ham’s star man Dimitri Payet, captain Mark Noble has spoken out to calm the nerves of fans as he told TalkSPORT:
“For the last season, he has been one of the best players in the whole world with the Euros. But the chances he has created this season and the important goals he has scored for us, Dimi is fully committed – I can tell you that now. He is great with the lads. I have got a very close bond with Dimi. I just love seeing people come to the club and do so well. I see him train every day. I see how he feels when he loses games. And don’t forget, he hasn’t even had a holiday.”
Payet was announced in 17th place in the Ballon d’Or rankings, won by Cristiano Ronaldo, after a whirlwind year saw him go from virtual unknown to one of the best players in the world.
Another man has had less success since his move to London – Simone Zaza. Now, Slaven Bilic has admitted that his future with the Hammers is in doubt, saying:
“He’s our player but got injured before Liverpool. He felt something in his knee. He is not in the squad or available. We don’t know what will happen in the future.”
Zaza watched on from the stands as the Irons drew at Anfield, with youngsters preferred on the bench, but the decision sparked speculation that he may be sent back to Juventus earlier than expected.
Zaza’s absence is likely to give an opportunity to other forwards in the West Ham squad, as Bilic also confirmed that he is considering starting the match against Burnley this evening with Andy Carroll. He said:
“We will decide on Wednesday… We have two very important games and we have to manage our players to be available in both… It is a big blow when we are missing him. We are not afraid to start him but we have to think twice on how to manage him. We can’t look only at Wednesday’s game, but we have to look at the bigger picture.”
Carroll has come on as a substitute in the last two games since his return from injury, scoring a consolation goal against Arsenal, and is now expected to be in contention from the start at the London Stadium.
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