Dimitri Payet: 'Slaven Bilic managed me like a father'

Payet: 'Bilic was like a father'
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Dimitri Payet describes Slaven Bilic as a "father" figure to him while at West Ham United, but insists that he had to leave the club.

Dimitri Payet has described Slaven Bilic as a "father" figure to him while at West Ham United, but insists that he had to leave the club.

The 30-year-old announced during the January transfer window that he wanted to depart the London Stadium and was promptly dropped from the first team due to attitude problems.

A move back to Marseille for £25m was agreed, with Bilic insisting upon the sale, but Payet says that he got along with the Croatian coach during his time at the club.

"Like a father," he told So Foot magazine when asked how Bilic managed him. "We talked to each other every day - he quickly understood how I functioned.

"That was seen in my adaptation [to life in the Premier League], which was very fast. He's a nervous man. He's a Croatian. He can scream. But he manages the players well."

The France international, however, insists that he had to leave over fears of losing his place in the national team squad.

"There were several reasons, but the first one was sporting: West Ham's objectives were no longer the same from the season before, and I felt danger for my football and my place in the France national team," he continued.

"There was a choice to make. On my return, I find a Marseille changed at all levels. I feel like it's not the same club. It's not the same management. Obviously, there is a new owner, but there are other aspects that resemble more a bigger club."

During his time with the Hammers, Payet made 60 appearances in all competitions, scoring 15 times.

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