On Friday, The Guardian reported Dimitri Payet was interested in a return to West Ham United, less than two years after his high-profile departure to Marseille.
The link is a shocking one to many Hammers fans considering the circumstances in which the Frenchman left East London, and here are three reasons why supporters should be wary of his return.
1. Payet’s transfer saga spoiled his time at West Ham
In 2016, Dimitri Payet made it clear he wanted nothing more to do with the club. His desire to leave for Marseille was made no secret, and his transfer saga dragged on and on and created a massive distraction at West Ham.
The manner in which the midfielder left still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the Hammers fanbase, and for good reason. Just as recently as March 2017, he said he left West Ham because he was ‘bored’ playing for a struggling club.
Payet acted in a disrespectful manner and should not be expected to be welcomed back in east London.
2. The suggested price is far too high
The Guardian suggested Marseille would ask for more than the £25 million the French club paid for Payet back in 2016, which is a ridiculous amount for a 31-year-old.
Although West Ham’s owners are not afraid to spend on a transfer target, a fee in excess of £25 million for an aging attacking midfielder with few peak years left would be misguided.
3. Recent injury concerns and his advanced age mean the transfer would be too short-term
The midfielder’s season was abruptly ended just minutes into the Europa League final, as Payet limped off with a hamstring injury that terminated his World Cup hopes as well.
It is always risky to sign a player that is not fully fit, and at the age of 31, Payet will struggle to recover to full fitness as quickly as he had in the past.
In all, there is little doubting that on his day, Dimitri Payet is a special player who can win a match with his exquisite skill.
Yet, considering his deteriorated relationship with West Ham, his age, and the price suggested, a return to east London this summer should be resisted.