Wenger on Payet…
West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet has taken the Premier League by storm in his debut season in England.
The Frenchman – who has created a brilliant portfolio of stunning free-kicks – has score nine goals and provided eight assists in his first 24 Prem matches.
Payet is seen by many English football fans as a late-bloomer, because he didn’t leave France until he was 28 – having played for Nantes, St-Etienne, Lille and Marseille.
However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims to have been well aware of Payet’s talents for a long time.
So, why didn’t he buy him!?
Wenger has indirectly answered that question.
In quotes published by the Daily Mail, Wenger suggested that the main reason he never brought Payet to North London is because he was not short of players in his position – attacking midfield.
Indeed, it’s true. Arsenal do boast lots of good attacking midfielders. However, not even the most stubborn or deluded Gunners supporters can argue that Payet would not improve Wenger’s starting XI right now.
The Daily Mail quote Wenger as saying: “I have known him for a long, long time. When he played at St-Etienne he played there for a few years and we watched him many times. He has all the attributes to be a top, top player and is that in fact.
“He is 29-years-old already, but this season he has matured a lot as he has come back into the national team when he looked to be out. That shows he has been much more consistent.
“He has always had top talent, even when in periods he has been a bit up and down. But he has been very consistent.”
Wenger added: “We had this kind of player and we had no need [for more].
“Historically we always had a great number of creative players — we had Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey — they are all offensive players and I’ve certainly forgotten a few, so we had the numbers.”