Joe Cole tells talkSPORT: Dimitri Payet is world class and West Ham haven’t had a player like him since Paolo Di Canio
Joe Cole has told talkSPORT he knew Dimitri Payet would prove the perfect fit for West Ham.
The former Hammer played with the Frenchman at Lille and recommended the club to him during his spell in Ligue 1.
Payet went on to make the move to Upton Park last summer, snubbing interest from across Europe, and has been a revelation in the Premier League.
Cole, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, said: “When I was over in France, West Ham must have been on the cards for him in 2012 and I told him it was the perfect mix for him, the perfect fit.
“I knew the punters would love the way he plays. He takes people on, he scores great goals.
“I recommended West Ham because they are a great club and three years later he has popped up there.”
Such has been Payet’s impact, he was crowned Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards on Thursday night.
And Cole has hailed the 28-year-old as West Ham’s new Paolo Di Canio, a legend at the club after a brilliant four-year spell.
“West Ham have had great players over the years but it has been a long time since they have had a proper world class player in his prime. Not since [Paolo] Di Canio really,” said Cole.
“He is a top player. I thought it might take him six, seven, eight months to settle down but he hit the ground running.
“He has been one of the top players in the league this season and he has probably embarrassed a lot scouts at the bigger clubs.
“Champions League clubs have obviously had a look at him but haven’t had a nibble because they were worried about him coming over to the Premier League, but he has been a revelation.”