Arsene Wenger claims he was monitoring Dimitri Payet long before he made the switch to West Ham, but chose not to sign the Frenchman because he’s far too inconsistent, as reported by Sky.
Payet has been absolutely superb for West Ham this season, and has rivaled Mesut Özil for the league’s best playmaking attacking midfielder. Despite spending part of the season sidelined with injury, he’s been absolutely massive for the Hammers, and could cause us some problems this weekend.
Arsenal fans have been asking how we let a player like Payet join West Ham rather than making the switch to the Emirates, as he seems like exactly the type of player that Wenger usually signs. The manager claims that he opted against signing the 29-year-old though, as he has taken far too long to become a consistent player.
“He was a top talent, always, but had periods of being up and down,” he said.
“I’ve looked at him many times. I’ve known him for a long time. He played at Saint-Etienne and we watched him many times.
“I think he has all the attributes to be a top player, which he is, but he’s 29 years old already. He’s matured a lot and come back into the national team, which shows he was more consistent.”
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With hindsight it’s obviously easy to say Wenger should have signed this player or that player, and watching Payet at West Ham this season you can understand why people are asking how we’ve missed out on him. As Wenger says though, he hasn’t always been this reliable, and reliability is really what you want.
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Hopefully not signing his compatriot doesn’t come back to bite Wenger in the backside this weekend, as we really need to take the three points.