Karren Brady has revealed that despite making a £15 million profit on Dimitri Payet in just 18 months, the club feels that the deal was “bad business”. She wrote in the Sun:
“Dimitri Payet would have become a legend to every Hammers supporter. But he’s a dead loss instead. It would be unfair to say he hasn’t been trying this season but the manager knew in the weeks before Christmas that his heart wasn’t in it. Once Slaven Bilic realised the damage Payet was inflicting to morale, we did the only thing that made sense. We sold him for as much as we could, to the only club who wanted to buy him. That was £25 million to Marseille, representing 250 per cent of the original price we paid to them 18 months ago. On paper, good business; in reality, bad business. But other than treat a man like a naughty schoolboy — and with no legal right to force him to play — we took the only sensible option available.”
The Frenchman made his debut for his new club against Lyon this weekend, coming on as a substitute, but the Hammers have moved on quickly and have replaced a mural dedicated to Payet on the London Stadium with an image of Andy Carroll’s stunning volley only a few weeks ago.
The club also used the January transfer window to add some firepower with the signing of Robert Snodgrass, but they also tried to sign Real Madrid striker Mariano according to Marca. The 23-year-old has scored five goals in nine appearances this season and was reportedly available on loan but decided against a move.
Both Southampton and Leicester were also interested in the forward, who has largely featured as a substitute for the La Liga leaders, but West Ham failed in their attempts to bring him to London.
That didn’t matter yesterday though as the Hammers came from behind to blow Southampton away thanks to goals from Andy Carroll and Pedro Obiang, with a second half own goal from Steven Davis. Slaven Bilic praised his team post-match, saying:
“It was fantastic. We had a plan and the guys executed it brilliantly, basically. They scored a great goal through Gabbiadini, which looked brilliant from the other end of the pitch. But we didn’t give up, we continued to play and they let us play a little bit. To equalise very quickly obviously helped us and picked us up and basically it was a great team performance. We were solid, great defending in numbers, closing them down and when we could press them, we pressed them. With the ball, we had pace up front, bodies up front, presence up front and we also had great combinations and switched sides from the back. It’s not only three points, but it was a really great performance and I’m so proud of the boys. As I said, it was just a fantastic team performance.”
That win moves the Irons up to 9th in the Premier League table despite a horrific start to the season with things now looking up for the club.
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