Stephen Hendrie raves about 'fantastic' Dimitri Payet after pre-season displays

Upton Park

West Ham defender Stephen Hendrie has hailed new signing Dimitri Payet.

West Ham youngster Stephen Hendrie has told the club's official website that new signing Dimitri Payet is a 'fantastic player' after starring against Southend over the weekend.

Hendrie, 20, is a new signing himself having arrived from Scottish side Hamilton Academical, after penning a pre-contract agreement with the Hammers in January.

The left back's arrival may have slipped off the radar somewhat, given West Ham's summer spending, which has seen them bring in the likes of Angelo Ogbonna, Carl Jenkinson and Pedro Obiang.

Yet arguably the biggest signing is that of French playmaker Dimitri Payet, who has arrived from Marseille in a big-money deal to give West Ham added creativity in the final third.

The 28-year-old dazzled against Southend in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, scoring two goals - including one sumptuous free kick - and was influential throughout.

Speaking to the West Ham official website, Hendrie says that Payet is a 'fantastic player', adding that it's a privilege to work alongside such talented players.

"It’s been brilliant, training with some of the players we get to train with," said Hendrie. "You could see on Saturday that Dimitri Payet is a fantastic player, scored two goals and has done well with the third one as well."

"It’s absolutely brilliant to be playing with players like him and to be at a club like West Ham, which is a family club and all the boys have welcomed me great. It’s been a good few weeks. Coming from a small but great club like Hamilton Accies down to a big club like West Ham in the Premier League has been unbelievable, to be honest with you," he added.

How important can Payet be?

The French international is certainly seen as West Ham's biggest summer signing so far, and his performance against Southend demonstrated why.

With great quality on the ball and an eye for goal in the final third, Payet could be the man to fire the Hammers into the top eight next season - and possibly higher.

The great thing for manager Slaven Bilic is that Payet's versatility will be huge. If the new Hammers boss chooses to play the 4-3-1-2 from last season then Payet can sit in the hole behind the strikers, whilst if he goes with the 4-2-3-1 he used at former club Besiktas, Payet can also play out wide - offering creativity in either position, which will be key following the departure of Stewart Downing last week.

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