Geoff Hurst explains why West Ham are better without Payet

By Danny Wright

West Ham legend Sir Geoff Hurst believes that the club were right to sell Dimitri Payet in January.

The Frenchman left the club to return to Marseille and the legendary striker has said in an interview the London Evening Standard that Slaven Bilic’s side have reaped the results since.

Hurst revealed that Bilic had no choice but to sell the 29-year-old after he told him he would no longer play for the club as no player is bigger than the whole squad, despite his clear world-class ability.

The 1966 World Cup winner said that he partially understands why Payet forced his way out of West Ham but doesn’t blame Bilic for shipping out the playmaker at the first available opportunity.

“If you’ve got somebody within the group that doesn’t want to be part of the group – you get them out,” Hurst said.

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“Not that you can defend him the way he’s been, but if you say something about his defence, you would say that his family seem to want to go back there, he wanted to go back to that club and that was going to be difficult to overcome.

“Since he’s gone the team is always better, in football or in any walk of life, the team is better than any one individual – no matter how good they are.”

Ever since securing his £25million return to Stade Velodrome, Payet has made five appearances which included scoring a free-kick on his second home league debut for Marseille.

Payet enjoyed a brilliant time at Upton Park last season when he was shortlisted for the PFA players’ player of the year award after he scored 12 goals and set up 15 in 38 appearances in all competitions.

The first half of this season was less fruitful however as he and West Ham struggled to adapt to life at the London Stadium.

In other West Ham news, this under-23 starlet has delivered his verdict on scoring his first goal at the home of the Hammers.

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