English Premiership

Keane urges West Ham to ditch Payet

2017-01-23 15:13
Dimitri Payet (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Robbie Keane has weighed into the Dimitri Payet debate, and has told West Ham in no uncertain terms to cut loose the wantaway player and reinvest the money.

The 29-year-old Frenchman is eager to secure a move to former Ligue 1 side Marseille, having cited family reasons, and has been left out of the Hammers' side for their two recent Premier League matches.

Slaven Bilic's charges certainly didn't appear to miss Payet too much as they convincingly beat Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough, and Keane admits that despite being a "top, top player", he has to go.

He told Goals on Sunday: "There's a problem there.

"It is looking like that the best thing for the club and him is probably to leave, certainly if you can get good money for him.

"He is a top, top player, but they are flourishing since he announced he wants to go.

"When you have a player who is a special talent and wants to leave, there is always a few in the dressing room, people like Mark Noble who is a legend there, who is thinking 'this is my club and you just want to walk away'.

"Everybody has their own situations. I don't know if he's homesick and his family wants to go home, but I think for West Ham, try and get the money and get someone in this window or in the summer."

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan went one step further by suggesting West Ham may be winning because of Payet's stance.

He explained: "It can bind the squad together.

"Sometimes you have an individual that's so good that you rely so much on him and the rest take a back seat.

"Now it's a case of 'we've not got him here, we'll all have to pitch in and do a bit more'. They probably feel more comfortable that way.

"Sometimes the players feel undervalued when everybody is talking about one player and it can wear them down.

"There's freedom when that player is not there and they can go out and play. They have done incredibly well and seem to be a more rounded team in this period."

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