Paul Merson slams West Ham 29-year-old, questions his desire
By Matt Farr
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has hit out at West Ham superstar Dimitri Payet.
The former Arsenal player has criticised Payet’s recent performance level, and questioned his attitude and desire following West Ham’s 4-1 EFL cup defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday.
Payet was at fault for United’s second goal, when he gifted the ball to Ander Herrera, before Anthony Martial found the back of the net.
His lack of interest in helping his side out in defence also came under criticism from Merson.
He said on Sky Sports: “I was impressed with Manchester United in midweek, but it was against a poor West Ham team, who were virtually playing with 10-men. Dimitri Payet doesn’t look interested at all.
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“I would advise him to knuckle down and help get West Ham out of this relegation battle. He looks like someone that wants to be moving on his way.
“If it wasn’t for West Ham, nobody would have ever heard of Payet – he wouldn’t even be playing for France.”
Payet has been linked with a move away from West Ham in January, with the club languishing in 16th place, just one point clear of the relegation zone.
The club’s poor form has left the Hammers fighting a relegation battle, raising concerns for Payet who wants to be playing at a higher level.
However, Merson believes that Payet should be putting his own club’s situation ahead of any desire to jump ship.
“He owes West Ham, who took a big chance on him and got him out of French football. West Ham made him a superstar,” he said.
“He needs to make sure West Ham have a good season. Then, at the end of the season, he could get his move. He looks like he’s putting himself first rather above West Ham football club.”
The Hammers signed Payet for £11 million from Marseille in 2015, and has become a revelation in east London and a firm fans favourite.
The 29-year-old finished last season with 15 goals from 44 games in all competitions, and went on to be one of France’s star performers at the European Championships in the summer.
However, he has struggled to recreate that form this term, contributing just two goals and five assists from 14 games.
In other West Ham news, starlet Ashley Fletcher has revealed he wants to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford.