Payet returned to action for West Ham in their 2-0 win against Liverpool at the weekend and he impressed with his late substitute appearance.
The Frenchman looked like he had never been away, as he showcased his silky skills once again.
Payet has been a revelation ever since moving to the Premier League from Marseille in the summer, and he has quickly developed a reputation as one of the finest attacking midfielders in England.
Indeed, Nicholas believes that the 28-year-old has a similar level of ability to Ozil - who currently leads the Premier League’s assist charts, after creating 16 goals this season.
"In terms of what West Ham are, I would agree [that he’s on the same level as Ozil],” Nicholas said, when asked if Payet was as good as Ozil.
“He was sensational before he got injured. You have seen the slide [without him].”
Payet picked up his injury back in November, when West Ham took on Everton, but he has made a rapid recovery.
His return is a huge boost to West Ham, as they have struggled in his absence.
Slaven Bilic’s side went on a seven match winless streak without Payet, but they have now won their last two fixtures to move back up to sixth in the Premier League table.