West Ham co-owner shares advice from Marcelo Bielsa over signing Dimitri Payet

Payet Skill

West Ham's David Sullivan has revealed Marcelo Bielsa advised him to push to sign Dimitri Payet.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has told The Mail that former Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa played a role in convincing the club to shell out on Dimitri Payet.

Payet has been the club's star player since his arrival last summer, with Slaven Bilic managing him to great effect.

Bilic was of course not a slam dunk to get the West Ham job, with the club pursuing Bielsa, and Sullivan has explained that they even discussed potential signings with the Argentine.

He said: "We were talking to the then Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa about coming to West Ham and we said: ‘Who is the one player you would bring?’ He said Payet."

Sullivan explained that at that point Payet was already on West Ham's radar, but Bielsa's declaration only served to confirm their view that he was an essential buy.

He added that Bilic was also especially keen on the winger when they had discussions regarding Payet.

Sullivan said: "Later I said to Slaven: ‘What do you think of Payet?’ And he said: ‘I’d love him — not only will he achieve great things, but he will make the other players better. They will get passes they wouldn’t normally get and score goals they wouldn’t normally score."

Bilic was not wrong, with Payet going onto become a real fan favourite at the Hammers and an inspiration for the rest of the side, which is currently riding high in fifth place.

Whether they would have got to that stage had Bielsa been critical in some way of Payet remains to be seen, but realistically there seem to be no faults with the winger which even the harshest analyst can assert, not based on his last two outstanding seasons in Ligue 1 and the Premier League.

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