West Ham need Dimitri Payet to lead new dawn at Olympic Stadium

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Football fans are all too aware of the remarkable impact Dimitri Payet has made at Upton Park this season.

The France international has played a key role in West Ham's unprecedented rise, with the Hammers just five points off the fourth Champions League spot.

But with all the acclaim comes attention, and Payet has certainly received a lot of that with a certain Catalonian outfit rumoured to be interested in the midfield maestro's services.


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Reports from Spain, as per The Sun, suggest Barcelona are keen to sign the 29-year-old this summer but put off by West Ham's £50 million asking price.

The La Liga giants have seen victory just once in their last five games and their lead at the top of Spain's top-flight cut to just three points following successive defeats to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.

Manager Luis Enrique’s misery was further compounded on Wednesday night at the Vicente Calderon as he watched his side dumped out of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid thanks to an Antoine Griezmann brace.

If reports are to be believed, Payet’s arrival at the Camp Nou could result in a big shake-up in Barcelona's squad - but that's only if West Ham opted to sell.

Gold and Sullivan have done very well to balance the books in east London after taking on the debt left by the club's previous Icelandic owners, yet they face a very different task this time around.

The Hammers enter a new chapter in their history this summer when they relocate to the Olympic Stadium. Having beaten London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to claim one of the capital's biggest landmarks, a new home comes with greater responsibility.

The topic of securing a place in Europe is unchartered territory for even the most seasoned of Hammer, yet Slaven Bilic and his men are well on their way to securing their highest top-flight finish since the 1998-99 season (5th).

The arrival of Bilic has seen the club's fortunes dramatically change and the Croation has undoubtedly played a vital part in that.

Several key players have stood out under Bilic's tutelage. Cheikhou Kouyate has shown immense composure in the centre of midfield, Manuel Lanzini’s flair has come to the fore and Mark Noble has been captain fantastic, churning out consistently brilliant displays alongside the aforementioned Kouyate.

But one player has stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Since his arrival last summer from Marseille, Payet has taken the Boleyn Ground and Premier League by storm, scoring 12 goals in all competitions and finding the net four times from free-kicks in 2016 alone.

The Frenchman's immense ball control, mesmeric dribbling ability, dead-ball accuracy and precision passing has captivated Irons fans from the outset; a player of his calibre at a club like West Ham is a privilege - so why sell him?

Gold and Sullivan are planning for the future, where success doesn’t just come in domestic form. European lights await West Ham and when equipped with one of England's biggest stadiums, a new image also beckons.

Payet has undoubtedly become the poster boy for West Ham's emphatic season but with new beginnings and surroundings on the horizon, the Hammers must do all they can to fend off interest and allow the mercurial midfielder to lead them into the unknown.

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Paulo di Canio
UEFA Champions League
West Ham United
Europa League
Premier League
Andrew Carroll
Frank Lampard

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