Much has been written and said about Dimitri Payet’s performance against Newcastle United on Monday night, with his two-goal salvo saying more than any of the words which appeared in the morning newspapers.
The Frenchman has enjoyed a dynamic start to his Hammers career, already scoring three goals and laying on one assist in just five appearances in England’s top flight.
He arrived on these shores with a big reputation, having created more opportunities than anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues last season and has already set about living up to that billing.
The former Lille, St-Etienne and Marseille man was everywhere on Monday night, using his position behind the frontman well to exert his influence throughout the attacking third, as his heat map (above right) shows.
Payet had 68 touches of the ball on Monday night, five more than any West Ham United player, with 55 of those touches coming in the opposition half.
He converted that into three shots, of which two hit the target and resulted in West Ham’s goals, to round off an extremely successful evening.
With that kind of efficiency in front of goal, with an eye for an assist to match, the Hammers look to have a real gem on their hands.
Those sentiments were echoed by his manager, with Slaven Bilic saying: “He is fantastic but he doesn't surprise me. The only thing that surprised me is that he gelled straight away but then we have great lads with a good character in the team. Every new player is welcome straight away.
“I know Dimitri and I wanted to take him to Besiktas last year but it was impossible. He is a brilliant player and he is not just a player who decides a game with his goals, but he is also great at keeping possession and making all the other players better.
“It is not just him but if you ask me about him he is a brilliant player and that is why we got him.”
Analyse the match for yourself and check out in-depth stats including heat maps and chalkboards in our Match Centre here.