West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic was full of praise for Dimitry Payet after the French forward fired the Hammers to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Monday night.
The 28-year-old, who joined the London outfit from Marseille in the off-season, produced a scintillating performance at Upton Park, breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute before doubling his tally three minutes into the second half.
Bilic was delighted with the performance of the France international, telling Sky Sports: “He’s not only a great player that is deciding games but he makes all players around him play better.
“That is the most important thing you want in a footballer; someone who is not only an individual but a team player.
“I’ve known him a long time and I tried to get him to Besiktas last year but it was impossible. He is the player I really wanted from the start and hoped he would come [but] I didn’t believe it would happen.”
Monday’s result sees West Ham move up to fifth place in the Premier League standings following five rounds of fixtures – one point shy of fourth-placed Arsenal.
Bilic feels their results prove the team has improved following a number of notable additions to the squad in the recent transfer window.
He is now hoping to continue moulding a team worthy of the Olympic Stadium, which the Hammers will call their new home starting next season.
Bilic added: “The victory is was small proof that we are in a good way and that we’ve really done well in the transfer window.
“I think we fully deserved three points. It was a big relief to get the home win. We need the fans to come to the stadium and enjoy themselves, but in the last two we lost at home we were sloppy and made bad mistakes
“But we have showed a good reaction and we need a really good season. The club are moving forward and into a new stadium.
“We need a good team that can defend and attack with numbers, keep the ball, and we are working on that.”