Wenger: Why I decided not to sign Dimitri Payet

Date published: Thursday 7th April 2016 11:29

We can add West Ham’s Dimitri Payet to the list of players Arsene Wenger has watched many times but ultimately failed to sign.

The Frenchman – scorer of nine goals and creator of eight more in the Premier League this season – is a free-kick specialist who has lifted the Hammers to the cusp of a Champions League place.

West Ham and Arsenal play on Saturday and Wenger has said ahead of the game: “He was a top talent, always, but had periods of being up and down.

“I’ve looked at him many times. I’ve known him for a long time. He played at Saint-Etienne and we watched him many times.

“I think he has all the attributes to be a top player, which he is, but he’s 29 years old already. He’s matured a lot and come back into the national team, which shows he was more consistent.

“But historically we always had a great number of creative players – we had Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey – they are all offensive players and I’ve certainly forgotten a few, so we had the numbers.”

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