Dimitri Payet explains why he had to leave West Ham in January

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Dimitri Payet's acrimonious exit from West Ham in January was one of the biggest stories during the winter transfer window.

Following Slaven Bilic's decision to publically reveal the Frenchman had expressed his desire to leave the club, his relationship with the fans and his teammates completely broke down.

After initially citing homesickness as the main reason behind his wish to move on, Payet eventually transferred back to Marseille in a deal believed to be in the region of £25 million.

Since returning to France, the 29-year-old has looked more like his former self, scoring three times in eight appearances so far.

And in a new interview with L'Equipe, he has revealed that missing the French life and culture wasn't the only major factor behind his desire to leave West Ham.

In a twist of events, Payet has turned the tables on former manager Bilic by slamming his tactics and the mentality of the team.

"Our way of approaching matches, the defensive system put in place did not please me," Payet said, as per the Daily Mail.

"You can say that it bothered me, yes. I got through games without any pleasure.

"With a 5-4-1 in front of our area, I could have all the freedoms in the world, but it was difficult to express myself.

"I had this contact with Marseille and most notably with Rudi Garcia, who had a philosophy that I knew well. The choice was quick. If I waited six months I would lose six months."

The Euro 2016 star revealed that he felt particularly unhappy after a victory against relegation battlers Hull in December.

It was a vital three points for Bilic's under pressure team but Payet felt it was a sign the club were going backwards and struggling to match his ambitions.

He added: "With West Ham at home against Hull, we won 1-0 and they hit the post four times. In the changing room, everyone was happy, but the man of the match that day was the post.

"I thought that I would not have room for improvement. On the contrary, I risked regressing. I need another challenge."

The 29-year-old's latest comments are unlikely to go down well with supporters of his former side.

Having been labelled a snake for the way he manufactured his departure from the London Stadium, you get the feeling he doesn't exactly regret returning to Marseille.

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Andrew Carroll
Dimitri Payet
West Ham United
Mark Noble

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