Ex-Marseille coach explains how West Ham's Dimitri Payet is similar to Barcelona's Andres Iniesta

France's Dimitri Payet celebrates after the game

The Hammers star looks set to further boost his profile at the European Championships.

France's Dimitri Payet celebrates after the game

Former Marseille assistant coach Jan Van Winckel has provided insight into the development of Dimitri Payet and compared him to one of the game’s greats, in quotes published by The Telegraph.

Van Winckel was assistant to Marco Bielsa while he was manager of Marseille and he believes the Argentinian played a crucial role in developing the mercurial talent we see today.

West Ham's Dimitri Payet looks dejected

“Bielsa was the first to recognise that Dimitri is a play-maker and not a winger,” said Van Winckel. “Dimi is probably the best player in the world, together with Andres Iniesta, with his back to the goal.

“He is so technically gifted and agile that it is almost impossible to get the ball from him. It is no coincidence that Dimi scored [against Romania] when he was playing in a central role.”

Andres Iniesta - Spain

Payet starred in France’s opening game win over Romania and capped off his performance with a fantastic match-winning strike.

At 29, Payet has been something of a late bloomer and West Ham are reaping the rewards of gambling on his signature last summer.

The £10.7 million paid for the Frenchman – as quoted by The Telegraph – seems like an absolute snip on current form and it would take a great deal more than that to prise him away from the East End.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic with Dimitri Payet as he is substituted

Doubts surrounding his temperament and his ability to perform outside of France - not to mention his age – likely prevented the game’s biggest clubs from making a move, but Payet has certainly got their interest now.

It remains to be seen whether West Ham will receive a mega money offer for their star man this summer but what is not in doubt is that they now have one of football’s hottest prospects on their hands.

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