Dimitri Payet may have won many admirers with his efforts for West Ham and France in 2015-16, but his petulant attitude during the January transfer window has rather tainted his image.
The mercurial playmaker has made it clear that he wants out of London Stadium and is prepared to go AWOL in order to force through a move.
Having been a central figure for the Hammers during his time in England, concerns have been raised as to how Slaven Bilic’s side will fill his creative void.
They did not miss him on Saturday, though, as three second half goals swept them past capital rivals Crystal Palace.
Payet may have dominated the headlines ahead of the game, and Andy Carroll after it with a stunning bicycle kick, but Michail Antonio was the star man over the course of 90 minutes and is posting numbers that suggest he is more than capable of becoming a club talisman.
9 - Michail Antonio has been directly involved in more PL goals than any other West Ham player this season (8 goals, 1 assist). Vital.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2017
Antonio had a hand in all three of West Ham’s goals against Palace, becoming the first man since an iconic figure from the club’s recent past to complete a hat-trick of assists in one game.
3 - Michail Antonio is the first West Ham player to provide 3 assists in a PL game since Paolo Di Canio vs Coventry in April 2000. Vision.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2017
West Ham needed to put the Payet circus to one side in their latest Premier League outing, and they did so in some style.
They can now look forward with positivity, with Antonio at his buccaneering best, Carroll staking a claim for Goal of the Season and Sofiane Feghouli opening his top-flight goal account.