Paul Merson: Nobody had heard of Payet before West Ham move

January transfers Dimitri Payet
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The France star owes the Hammers an improvement in attitude after turning the midfielder into a superstar by taking a risk on him last season, according to one pundit

Paul Merson has claimed that "nobody would have heard of" Dimitri Payet if he had not joined West Ham.

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The midfielder is a cult hero amoung Hammers fans following a stunning debut campaign that saw him notch nine goals, 12 assists and bettered only by Mesut Ozil for chances created, but has struggled this term as West Ham lie 16th.

Payet, who has 32 caps for France after making his debut in 2010, has drawn criticism for his attitude during the midweek 4-1 loss to Manchester United, and Merson feels the 29-year-old owes West Ham an improvement in form after turning him into a superstar.

"I was impressed with Manchester United in midweek, but it was against a poor West Ham team, who were virtually playing with 10-men - Dimitri Payet doesn't look interested - at all," Merson told Sky Sports.

"I would advise him to knuckle down and help get West Ham out of this relegation battle. He looks like someone that wants to be moving on his way. If it wasn't for West Ham nobody would have ever heard of Payet - he wouldn't even be playing for France."

Merson believes West Ham took a chance on Payet, twice named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season, after final campaign with Marseille which saw him top the Ligue 1 assist charts with 17 and make twice as many key passes as any other player.

"He owes West Ham, who took a big chance on him and got him out of French football. West Ham made him a superstar," he said.

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"He needs to make sure West Ham have a good season. Then, at the end of the season, he could get his move. He looks like he's putting himself first rather above West Ham Football Club.

"Look at him the other day when Ashley Fletcher scored at Old Trafford. He didn't look happy. He should start running around and winning points for the club."