Bilic said: “Can you imagine how important Dimitri is for a player like Aaron Cresswell for example? Aaron is an offensive full-back but he needs someone further forward to keep the ball for a few seconds so he can go on an overlap. If he has confidence that his team-mate will hold onto the ball, then he can go. If he is not sure, he may not risk it.”
Bilic explains that Payet’s technical skills make the rest of the team work better, as the other players have confidence in the Frenchman’s abilities.
Cresswell has built a reputation as an attacking full-back, but this often creates problems for West Ham, as it produces a lack of cover in defence when he charges forward.
Because of this, the other Hammers players cannot lose the ball whilst he is charging forward, otherwise they will be outnumbered at the back.
This is where Payet excels, as they are well aware he has the ability to keep ahold of the ball when needed, and not give away possession cheaply when Cresswell is charging up the left-wing.
Cresswell would still have an impact in a team without Payet, but he would cost the Hammers more goals than he would provide, whilst the reverse of that is true with the Frenchman in midfield.
Payet has grabbed the headlines this season with game winning displays and fantastic goals, but his under appreciated work is just as important for Bilic’s side.