Stat's a Fact - Key man Dimi


West Ham United may not be hitting the heights of last season just yet, but Dimitri Payet is still creating plenty of chances.

The France star, who has been shortlisted for both the France Football Ballon D’Or and FIFA Best Men’s Player of 2016 Awards, was in the thick of the action again during Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Stoke City.

Payet played no fewer than seven key passes, including the cross which Michail Antonio headed against Glenn Whelan and into the bottom corner of the Stoke net.

While that cross may not have counted as Payet’s fifth assist of the season, it goes without saying that his delivery directly led to West Ham’s goal.

Of the No27’s six other key passes, three were corners. The first, on 27 minutes, was met by a powerful Pedro Obiang header that needed a fine save from Lee Grant to keep it out of the Stoke net.

The second came on 74 minutes, when Michail Antonio leapt and won the header but could not keep his header down. Then, in the final minute of the 90, found James Collins at the far post, but again the header was not on target.

The other three key passes came in open play. On 24 minutes, Payet’s lay-off from Antonio’s pass found Manuel Lanzini, who lashed over the crossbar.

Having provided the corner for Obiang’s header, Payet’s next key pass came after the break, when he fed the same player, only for the Spanish midfielder’s low drive to be turned aside by Grant.

Finally, Payet’s dangerous cross was headed behind by Ryan Shawcross, forcing the corner which eventually led to Whelan’s own-goal. The Hammer of the Year’s ball in was cleared as far as Mark Noble, who found Payet again to cross for Antonio, whose glancing header deflected in off the Republic of Ireland midfielder.


To prove Payet’s importance to the West Ham team, no other Hammer completed a single key pass, while no Stoke player completed more than two.

The 29-year-old also touched the ball 66 times, made 44 passes, unleashed one shot on goal and embarked on three dribbles.

Statistically, according to the performance analysis website, only central midfielder Obiang had a more effective game than Payet.

However, as an attacking threat, it was clear that the Euro 2016 star was head and shoulders above anyone else on the London Stadium pitch.