Dimitri Payet was headhunted by West Ham United in the summer of 2015 after a stellar season at Marseille, famously creating more chances than any other player in Europe’s top leagues the previous season.
And though the controversial nature of his exit in January somewhat tainted his cult hero status, it’s fair to say Payet was one of the most inspired finds of recent Premier League seasons.
Payet went on strike to force a move back to Marseille
Whether Ryad Boudebouz would make the same impact in claret and blue remains to be seen. L'Equipe reports that the Montpellier playmaker is the latest name on West Ham’s radar after being granted permission to leave the Ligue 1 side.
And a quick glance at the statistics will certainly get supporters hoping he could replicate the influence of the last Ligue 1 creator to make the journey across the channel to West Ham. Boudebouz scored 11 goals and set up nine more last season to virtually save Montpellier from relegation and starred in a 3-0 trouncing of reigning champions PSG in December.
The 27-year-old, who has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs since bursting onto the scene with Sochaux as a teenager, enjoyed the most prolific season of his career last time out. He’s a slow burner but it appears that, like Payet, he is finally starting to fulfil his potential in his mid-to-late 20s.
The report adds that West Ham still need some convincing with Montpellier’s £13.5 million asking price sewing a few doubts.
However, with The Mirror reporting in May that Boudebouz was also being tracked by Everton, Newcastle United and Southampton, West Ham could benefit from making their move quickly.
Boudebouz (L) is in high demand
The Hammers have done excellent work this summer on paper, bringing in proven Premier League talent in Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart.
Boudebouz, however, could be the icing on the cake.