Simon Jordan: From my experience, this is what West Ham must do with Payet
By Matt Farr
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan believes West Ham are right to use Dimitri Payet to send their squad a message about loyalty, but that ultimately they have to sell the player and move on.
Payet has been exiled from the first-team setup after declaring his intention to leave West Ham this month, and is not likely to play for the club again.
However, the Hammers do not intend to let him leave the club unless they get what they think he’s worth, having rejected a £20million offer from Marseille for his services on Monday.
Jordan believes that West Ham should be stronger over Payet, but that selling him on is the only way to move forward.
He told TalkSport on Tuesday: “If you’d have asked me six years ago my reaction would have been, ‘you’re going over to the reserves or with the academy kids, you’re going to sit there for the next three years and I’ll take your career and flush it.’
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“But the flip side of that is it doesn’t take much for the whispers to start, for the cancer to spread in the dressing room with destructive and divisive players – there’s a balance to be struck.
“I think there’s something more going on behind the scenes with Payet, and I would like to see the owners come out and be stronger on this.
“I think West Ham are a far bigger club than Payet, they survived a long time before he came and they’ll survive a long time after he’s gone and if it really is as toxic as it seems [they should] get as much money as they can for this fella and move on.”
It’s an issue of concern for West Ham, because Payet has been one of their standout performers for over a year. He has contributed 18 goals and 25 assists since arriving in London in 2015, but his refusal to play proves he no longer has the desire to fight the club’s corner.
West Ham seemed to get on just fine without Payet in their squad for Saturday’s meeting with Crystal Palace, where they ran out 3-0 winners.
Football Insider verdict
No player is ever bigger than their club, and West Ham are right to exile Payet. However, while they want to ensure they get the right offer for him, they don’t want to end up keeping hold of a player with his attitude for the remainder of the campaign. They would be better off selling him this month, because he is eating up a lot of their wage budget. Dropping him to the reserves has already sent a valuable message to the squad – and others in the Premier League – so Jordan has raised a valid point. It is important that the Hammers take the right actions in response, and if that means selling him for whatever price – instead of holding out for £25 million plus – then they should do that. The longer he stays at West Ham, the longer there will be that disruptive influence in and around the the dressing room.
In other West Ham news, the Hammers are finally edging closer to a deal to sign a new striker this month.