When Slaven Bilic acquired the services of Dimitri Payet from Marseille in the summer, not many in the Premier League were familiar with the French midfielder's exploits.
This was even despite that, in terms of statisitics, Payet created the most chances in Europe last season with 133, 22 ahead of Manchester City new boy Kevin De Bruyne during his time at Wolfsburg.
After a scintillating start to life in England, however, the midfielder has become a household name amongst West Ham fans. The Hammers currently sit fourth in the Premier League, with the east Londoners' rise to stardom and growing confidence this season largely owed to the form of Payet.
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Bilic has instilled another dimension to West Ham's overall game by bringing in the 28-year-old - they can now dominate and retain possession, swiftly passing the ball across their creative and composed midfield.
Andy Carroll's long-awaited return only adds to such creativity, such is his ability to hold up the ball and allow those around him to find space.
It might be very early to consider a top-six finish for the Irons but, as things currently stand, they are well on their way to do so after picking up unprecedented wins against Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League next season hinges not on their ability to perform, but more on whether they're able to maintain such form throughout a grueling and testing season.
And central to such form is Payet. Three of the above four wins came away from home - a testament to the improvement Bilic's side have shown in their consistency this season.
Payet was phenomenal in each of the scalps. The Frenchman is West Ham's maverick; their entertainer; someone who dazzles and constantly brings out the best in those who surround him.
As a result, no longer are the Hammers a club content with survival; no longer intangible is a sixth-placed finish.
Along with Jamie Vardy, Sadio Mane and Mesut Ozil, Payet has been one of the stand-out performers in the Premier League this season, scoring five goals and assisting three.
His presence and threat from midfield has proven a nightmare for defenders whilst a delight for his team-mates, and if West Ham can continue their form, spearheaded by the mercurial France international, then Europe and a very high league finish are certainly achievable goals.
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