Julian Dicks shared he had nothing but praise for what Dimitri Payet did for West Ham but wasn’t sure whether a return was on the cards.
The former Hammers defender, who also worked as a first-team coach under Slaven Bilic at the club, revealed that the attacking midfielder was a magnificent player for West Ham, and when he left he was sorely missed.
Ian Abrahams, who was interviewing Dicks, mooted the idea that Payet was someone who had been linked to the club this summer but the former Hammer didn’t think fans would welcome him back with open arms.
“Listen, I’ve only got praise for Dimi for what he did for West Ham as he was a magnificent player,” said Dicks in an interview with Abrahams, uploaded to the broadcaster’s Instagram account.
“Erm, unfortunately, the way he left wasn’t right and I’m not sure the fans would want him back there.
“Yeah (Abrahams said Payet’s exit was the downfall for Dicks and Bilic), Dimi was a player who was exceptional, his free-kicks, his ability, he was a fantastic player for West Ham, there’s no getting around that, but the way, as you said, things went, cause listen you’re gonna miss him but one player doesn’t make a team, but he was sorely missed.”
Dicks is spot-on with his remarks on Payet as he acknowledges how the attacking midfielder left the club under a cloud; but doesn’t take away from the fact the 32-year-old was a quality player for the Hammers. This is a very classy thing to do, considering that Payet’s exit didn’t help Bilic deliver the goods in the 2017/18 season and ultimately led to the manager, as well as Dicks, leaving the London Stadium (Source: BBC). The former Hammers coach makes clear that a team cannot rely on just one player, but it was hard for the Hammers not to rely on Payet during the 2016/17 season as he simply stole the show more often than not. Payet scored seven goals and registered two assists in 18 league outings during this season and won five Man of the Match awards (Source: WhoScored). Given that the midfielder’s exit left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, West Ham co-owner David Sullivan went on record to say the club wasn’t being forced to sell their best player, implying Payet forced his own exit, Dicks is right to say his return may see some fans have their noses put out of joint. However, while Abrahams seems to think Payet’s return is plausible, Claret and Hugh previously reported that he wouldn’t be joining this summer.