He said: “You could argue that Dimitri Payet was West Ham’s Eric Cantona moment. He was top of assists in Europe’s top five leagues last season, but he was late in the day. He’s 28 and people were questioning whether to take him. They’ve taken him, and the only question that has mattered, is has he made the team better. Yes.”
The Hammers brought Payet in after an exceptional season in Ligue 1, where he was the most creative player in Europe.
However, at the age of 28, and with little of note behind him in terms of success, bringing in the Frenchman could always be a risk.
Collymore has compared his arrival at the Boleyn Ground to when Manchester United signed Eric Cantona from Leeds in 1992. He arrived as a back-up option for United, with doubts about his long-term suitability to English football, and his attitude to the game.
However, despite all these doubts, Cantona’s signing went down as one of the greatest in Premier League history, and his legend lives on at Old Trafford.
Payet has already had a positive impact at the Boleyn Ground, and although he is injured at the moment, his influence in the Premier League has been felt.
When he returns to fitness, and if he continues playing as he has been, the Frenchman could go on to become one of the most important signings in West Ham’s entire history.