Ahead of what looks to be the most competitive Premier League season in recent years, Chelsea face an uphill struggle to regain their top four status.
The Blues have already made a statement via their selection of Antonio Conte as manager, but further alterations will be needed to spark an upsurge. A squad facelift looks inevitable and could be the change required to dispel the bad memories of 2015-16.
One such squad addition could prove Dimitri Payet. It may appear an audacious move, yet given the Frenchman’s abundant talents, it’s a transfer which Chelsea should hotly pursue.
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After years of indifferent form in France, Payet has come into his own at West Ham. While never a poor player, the 29-year-old has finally garnered the respect he deserves via his impressive Premier League exploits.
The Frenchman has laughed in the face of the premise that foreign signings can often take months to settle into English football. Payet racked up an incredible nine goals and 12 assists from midfield in his first season and won countless awards at West Ham’s club award ceremony.
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He has even taken his form onto the pitch with France where he has revived his international career. Such an admirable comeback was demonstrated in Euro 2016’s opening game; Payet finding a winning goal for Les Blues with an outrageous weak foot strike.
It’s fair to say that Payet has risen to one of the highest valued midfielders in Europe in a remarkably short space of time. With a deft touch, mercurial set piece ability and a wide passing range, West Ham face a tough challenge to retain their star man.
While numerous clubs are likely interested in Payet, Chelsea have proven the overriding name circulating in the press. The Express are one of many publications to draw the link.
The pull factors of Payet are clear to see, however, it proves a question of whether the Blues prove an attractive proposition.
Although Champions League football would likely have been preferable, the 29-year-old would be losing no such privilege in relinquishing his West Ham jersey. Moreover, given Chelsea’s squad and financial muscle, it is likely they will return to Europe’s premier competition sooner rather than later.
Given Payet’s age too, he hasn’t got a great deal of time on his hands. While the Frenchman will always have that spark of genius, he will only become more jaded and rugged as the seasons progress.
Consequently, a move from Chelsea to sign him this summer would come at a good time in his career. It may even serve to augment his recent rise.
Payet would also vastly improve the Stamford Bridge side’s midfield. With Cesc Fabregas showing signs of a decline, the West Ham man could prove the engine in Conte’s central supply line.
In addition, with such a formidable goal scoring record, Payet could serve in a Frank Lampard-like role by chipping in with crucial strikes. The prospect of Willian, Eden Hazard and Payet pulling the strings is too exciting of a prospect to not at least prompt a bid.
The 29-year-old has Premier League experience in oodles also. Such a signing would ensure immediate success and not weeks to settle in or months if your name is Pedro.
For the aforementioned rationale, there seems no reasons why Chelsea shouldn’t vie to sign the mercurial talent that is Dimitri Payet. Given the choice availability of such quality midfielders on the market, there can be little doubting the west London side should make him their priority this summer.
Moreover, there may even be reason to suggest Payet would be tempted if not persuaded by such an approach. Sorry Hammers, but you have a fight on your hands.
Do you think Dimitri Payet is the right man for Chelsea? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!