If Dimitri Payet left one last gift for West Ham supporters as he flew out of London it was sure knowledge that he had united the club with a desire to see him go.
The silky Frenchman, who had beguiled Upton Park had become the sulky figurehead of the player’s strike movement and it was inevitable, the moment that he refused to tread the turf at the London Stadium, he would depart.
He did so leaving at £25million pot of cash for the Irons which they have spent wisely (so far) on Jose Fonte (£8million) and Friday’s signing of dead ball specialist and Scottish international Robert Snodgrass (£10million). The club continues the hunt for Brentford’s Scott Hogan.
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan scarcely disguised his disappointment at the behaviour of a player that the club had nurtured.
He said on the club’s official website : “Payet did not show the same commitment and respect to West Ham United that the club and fans showed him.”
“I would like to make it clear that we have no financial need to sell our best players and that the decision to allow Payet to leave was in accordance with the wishes of the manager and the interests of squad unity.
“To be frank, my board and I would have preferred for him to have stayed in order to make an example of him, as no player is bigger than the club.”
Payet has rejoined Marseille on a four-and-a-half year deal and the French club were hardly gracious calling his spell in the Premier League “a year-and-a-half exile in England”.
Snodgrass, meanwhile, joins from Premier League strugglers Hull City.
The 29-year-old said: “I’m delighted because this is a massive club with great tradition.
“This is the sort of club which speaks for itself, the fans who come here and support week-in week-out and moving to and selling out this new stadium is terrific and I want to be part of it.”
He has scored seven goals this season and should be available when West Ham resume Premier League duties at the London Stadium against Manchester City on Wednesday (February 1).
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