Dean Ashton never thought Payet would leave West Ham

Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham

The midfielder was one of the stars of Euro 2016 this summer.

West Ham's Dimitri PayetWest Ham's Dimitri Payet

Former West Ham United striker Dean Ashton has told Sky Sports that he never feared Dimitri Payet would leave club this summer.

The midfielder was the star of the show at Upton Park last season with a series of impressive displays following his summer move from Marseille.

He continues to shine this summer for France as he become their key man at Euro 2016, helping to guide his country to the final of the summer showpiece.

Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring the second goal for West HamDimitri Payet celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham

That had sparked suggestions he could be set for a big money move to one of the elite sides, with French media outlet Le10Sport reporting that Real Madrid were particularly keen.

It appears the Hammers have managed to keep hold of their star man though, and Ashton says he never felt the Frenchman would depart.

“He was absolutely off the charts at the European Championships, I was never worried he was going to leave,” he told Sky Sports.

I think he liked the fact he’s been treated like a hero at West Ham and he was thankful he did it himself, but West Ham gave him the platform to get him into the France squad.”

West Ham's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their second goalWest Ham's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their second goal

It now remains to be seen if Payet can replicate his performances from last season in this campaign.

Given the busy year he has had, it would not be surprising to see him suffer some sort of dip in form as all that added game time is likely to have had its effect.

West Ham will certainly be hoping that isn’t the case, with the Frenchman set to be key to their hopes if improving on an impressive first season under Slaven Bilic.

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

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