Payet shocked by 'malicious' criticism of Ligue 1 return


Dimitri Payet says he has been shocked by malicious criticism of his decision to return to Ligue 1, lashing out at observers he disparagingly referred to as 'experts'. 

The star attacking midfielder left West Ham to re-join Marseille in January, a decision that has not been welcomed in all quarters, with some commentators accusing the France international of lacking ambition for quitting the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has insisted he is satisfied with his move back to Stade Velodrome, claiming to be surprised at both the negative response and the perception of Ligue 1 as an inferior competition. 

"The most important thing is that I am where I wanted to be, me and my family," he told L'Equipe.

"And the best is yet to come. Some experts have spoken maliciously [and] this remains their view.

"I came back to France and I saw that it did not particularly please everyone. The easy thing to do was to stay at West Ham, not to return to OM.

"I am shocked by the reaction of the experts. The complaint is that Ligue 1 is not attractive. That the level is low, that it is not possible to attract players.

"And when internationals want to come back in the January transfer window [they are criticised]... I find it extraordinary."