This summer, before signing Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero, Swansea City were heavily linked with a move for Marseille’s Dimitri Payet. The French winger hadn’t enjoyed the best season with OM, and it was known the club and the player were happy to agree a move for the 27-year-old.
Under both Elie Baup and Jose Anigo, Payet was inconsistent and rarely was able to put in consecutive impressive performances, but there was enough on display to show there was still a player there.
Only one season had passed since he scored 12 goals and grabbed 13 assists for Lille, before making a €9 million move south.
In his first season for Marseille, he scored eight times, twice in the opening game and picked up four assists. It was a far cry from his impressive season in the north, but the numbers were enough to attract Swansea.
This season it has been a much different season. Marcelo Bielsa has come in and changed the direction of this Marseille team and he has managed to get the best out of a number of players, one of them being Payet.
In the eight games so far, the French winger has looked like a player reborn, able to play in the centre but drift wide, he already has three goals and assists, only one off his creative best last season.
Amazingly in a graphic by @goallinedrama shows that no player in the history of the French league has provided more assists than Dimitri Payet.
His reward for the early season form has been a call-up to the France national team by Didier Deschamps. Payet has been in squads before, but this is the first time since he joined Marseille.
This is the sort of change in form he was hoping for when Swansea were showing interest, but it seems it wasn’t just a change of team that the winger needed, it was a change in coach and a change in mentality.
It’s unclear whether Payet would have enjoyed the same success at the Liberty City stadium, but from the Welsh clubs start, they could have done with a player of Payet’s ability this season. Only Nathan Dyer has scored more than once in the Premier League for Garry Monk’s side.
After six games, Swansea sit fifth in the premier League table, but with only eight goals so far, it may not be long until they start to slide down the pecking order. Payet clearly didn’t need the move to Swansea, but it looks like the Swans could regret not making that deal happen this summer.