Could West Ham become victims of their own success with Dimitri Payet?

Slaven Bilic

West Ham signed a gem in the summer transfer window. Could the big boys be paying a January visit?

There is no question right now: West Ham United's signing of Dimitri Payet has been absolutely fabulous.

The 28-year-old, who arrived at Upton Park for a £10.7 million fee according to the Daily Mail, has been superb and will have justified his relatively cheap pricetag even if he suffers Alex Song syndrome and disappears halfway through the season.

But could Payet's instant impact actually work against the Irons in that the big boys may see the Frenchman as a perfect signing come January or next summer?

In many ways, West Ham could end up suffering the same fate as they did with Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano if Payet keeps his red-hot form up. There are differences, of course, in that they were never fully owned by the east London club - but the principles may remain the same.

 2015/16 Chances CreatedGoalsDribblesMinutes Played
Santiago Cazorla 23 0 8 450
Mesut Özil 20 0 4 347
Eden Hazard 17 0 15 450
Steven Davis 16 0 3 376
Dimitri Payet 16 3 12 448

As Opta stats show, the Frenchman has created 16 chances so far this Premier League season - the joint-fourth highest of anyone in the top flight. He's also scored three times and won 12 dribbles in five league games.

That kind of form doesn't go unnoticed and, while some of the biggest clubs in the division can certainly be seen as lazy for not seeking out the 28-year-old earlier (big credit to West Ham here), that same laziness could see any of the top clubs who need a little extra in January come sniffing. 

Of course, West Ham may well be high enough in the table to be able to rebuff any Payet bids come January, while Everton and West Brom have both shown that your best players can be kept against the odds in the modern market.

And another possibility is the Hammers making a huge profit on the Frenchman if he does keep producing like he is. The simple truth is that Payet looks far more creative and effective in the final third than most of Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United's attacking midfielders right now (and more than Chelsea's at the moment, too, needless to say). 

In that sense, West Ham may end up the victims of their own success. They've uncovered a real gem - but gems can quite easily be stolen in the Premier League.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch