Dimitri Payet signs new West Ham deal until 2021
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 12/02/16 6:18am
West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet has signed a new contract that ties him to the club until the summer of 2021.
Payet has enjoyed a superb first season with the Premier League club, scoring six goals and providing six more assists to help them move into the top six and the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The 28-year-old quickly established himself as a favourite at Upton Park and made an immediate impact when he set up a goal for Cheikhou Kouyate in their stunning season-opening 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Payet scored his first goal against Leicester and grabbed a double against Newcastle as Slaven Bilic's time in charge of the club began brightly.
He had a spell on the sidelines with injury before returning with a superb performance against Bournemouth when he found the net with another wonderful free-kick.
His exciting displays saw him linked with a move away from the club, with the big-spending Chinese league mooted as a possible destination in a deal that could have seen West Ham bring in a £38m transfer fee for a player they signed for £10.75m from Marseille a handful of months ago.
Payet said: "For me it's a big step, an enormous show of faith, particularly from the Chairman [David] Sullivan and from the manager
"I thank them for that, and I am proud and I'm happy to prolong the adventure with West Ham.
"I've said it several times, I feel good here, everyone's done all that they can to make me feel good. I want to help West Ham grow and, once again, this new contract shows my desire and motivation to fulfil those objectives."
Sullivan was gushing in his praise of Payet after the deal was signed.
"Like you all, I have been so excited by watching 'Dimi', as he is now affectionately known to all of us Hammers, this season," Sullivan said on West Ham's official website.
"His technical ability, his ball skills, his strength, his goals, his assists and his attitude have all combined to give us one of the most exhilarating players I have seen in a West Ham shirt in many, many years.
"I have been watching West Ham since the early 1960s and have seen some fantastic footballers in Claret and Blue - Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, Paolo Di Canio, Carlos Tevez among them - and Dimi has the talent to be considered among the very best."