West Ham have bounced back after a difficult start to the Premier League season with some important victories in recent weeks.
Slaven Bilic’s side lost five of their first six league games, conceding a league-high 16 in the process, and had Dimitri Payet to thank for rescuing a point against Middlesbrough prior to the international break to avoid another loss.
Since then, the Hammers have picked up two crucial 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Sunderland – the latter only their second league victory at the London Stadium.
Bilic’s side will go into Wednesday’s League Cup tie against Chelsea with a bit of momentum as they bid to make the last eight.
There have been a few decent performers from West Ham this season, notably in the last few games, but who is their most creative player after 9 Premier League matches?
Surprise, surprise, it’s Dimitri Payet.
The Frenchman was sensational for the Hammers last season, helping to inspire them to a seventh-place finish in the league, and was equally as good in the European Championships for his country, netting three times to help Les Bleus reach the final.
And he has maintained that great form at the start of this season.
Although he missed the first few games due to lack of match fitness, the 29-year-old has laid on the most assists of any West Ham player in the league, with his tally of four making up half of the credited Hammers assists this season.
His superiority within the West Ham squad is further highlighted by his average of 4.3 key passes per match, which is way better than the next best Aaron Cresswell (2), and then Manuel Lanzini (1.7).
The France international has averaged the most shots per game of anyone in the Hammers team (3.4), and pips top-scorer Michail Antonio to the most dribbles per game at 3.4.
Not only is he outdoing his teammates though, he is also outdoing many in the Premier League.
His seven chances created against Sunderland took his tally to 29 for the season, which overtook Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon (26) as the most in the Premier League.
Looking at everything above, it’s quite incredible how brilliant Payet has been this season, but it’s also a stark reminder that, with West Ham currently sitting in 15th, he cannot carry the team on his own.