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Scott Parker: 'Dimitri Payet is just like West Ham United legend Paolo Di Canio'

Dimitri Payet can become as big a West Ham legend as Paolo Di Canio, says ex-midfielder Scott Parker.

Former West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker has claimed that the in-form Dimitri Payet can have as big an impact in East London as the legendary Paolo Di Canio did.

The French playmaker has impressed for the Hammers following his £11m summer switch from Marseille, netting 11 goals in all competitions, as well as bagging nine assists.

The 28-year-old enhanced his reputation further with a 30-yard free kick in Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup draw at Manchester United, and Parker cannot help but be reminded of a certain Italian when watching Payet.

"Like everyone else, I have watched Dimitri Payet and been impressed with the way he has performed, as I'm sure every West Ham fan has too. I saw his free kick against Manchester United and just said 'Wow!," he told the Irons' official website.

"He is a fantastic footballer and is one of a group of outstanding players who are now at the club. If you look back and see that he cost £10.8m or something, you have to say that's a great deal!

"Payet is what you'd call a 'West Ham player' in that he has the style and attitude that I know the West Ham fans love and what they have come to expect down the years. He reminds me of Paolo Di Canio with his skills, so it's no surprise the supporters love him!"

West Ham, who sit fifth in the Premier League table, visit Chelsea on Saturday.

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Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring during the FA Cup game between Manchester United and West Ham United on March 13, 2016
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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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