Number 34 in in our countdown of the #50GreatestHammers, in association with Official Sleeve Partner Basset & Gold, is French playmaker Dimitri Payet.
The midfielder enjoyed an eye-catching 18 months with the Irons, helping the team to their best ever Premier League season, and providing some unforgettable memories.
You will have the chance to rank the top ten soon, so keep an eye on whufc.com and our official social channels for details of how you can cast your vote!
Years at West Ham: 2015-2017
From the moment Dimitri Payet made his West Ham United debut, supporters knew they were watching a special player.
A summer 2015 signing from French side Marseille, Payet immediately endeared himself to the Claret and Blue faithful, providing an assist for Cheikhou Kouyate’s opening goal in the first game of the season at Arsenal. It was a sign of the good times to come.
That debut-day assist was followed up by a first goal, on his maiden home appearance, against Leicester City. As Payet rose, so did West Ham.
The Frenchman brought it all to the Boleyn Ground; his showings were magical, worthy of a final season at the historic home of West Ham United, so much so that the playmaker was quickly awarded his own, special chant by supporters. ‘Super Slaven’s man’ had established himself with the Hammers in record time.
In early January 2016, Payet scored his first free-kick for the Irons, bending home a sensational strike at Bournemouth. It would quickly become the trait for which the midfielder was most recognised.
It became commonplace for West Ham fans to cheer like a goal had been scored when one of the Club’s players was fouled within 25 yards of the penalty area, such was the assurance that Payet would find the net with a wicked finish.
Payet’s influence lead to records being broken and firsts being achieved. That 2015/16 season, West Ham completed a first league double over Liverpool for 52 years. Wins over Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were also achieved, as the Irons claimed their highest ever Premier League points tally of 62.
In a season of stand-out performers for West Ham, Payet was named the best of them all. The Frenchman was Hammer of the Year, included in the PFA Team of the Year, and also nominated by his peers to the shortlist of the PFA Player’s Player of the Year award.
The final few weeks of Payet’s 18-month spell with West Ham left supporters naturally disappointed, as the talented No27 returned to Marseille, but the genius that the Frenchman displayed during his time with the side - including 15 goals and 23 assists in 60 showings - can never be forgotten.