By Lloyd Webb
Arsene Wenger says Dimitri Payet is a “top player” ahead of Arsenal’s clash with West Ham United on Saturday.
The France international has had an impressive debut season in England, playing a crucial role in the Hammers’ push for a Champions League place.
Payet is in good form with three goals in his last four appearances, and Wenger knows the playmaker well.
"I think the emergence of Dimitri Payet has given West Ham a lot of creativity and efficiency"
“I have known him for a long, long time,” he said. “When he played at St Etienne, he was there for a few years and we watched him many times. He has all the attributes to be a top, top player and he is that.
“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.
"I think the emergence of Dimitri Payet has given West Ham a lot of creativity and efficiency. [With] Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini and Payet they have a strong midfield and a good striker with Diafra Sakho.
“That makes them efficient and that is not a coincidence. They have had a very good campaign but when you look at the quality of the players they have, individually they have a good midfield, good strikers and they are solid at the back.”
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