Apart from Gareth Bale, very few players who were expected to stand out have actually demonstrated their full abilities at this year’s Euros.
Brought into Didier Deschamps’ squad thanks to a good season with West Ham, no one thought Dimitri Payet would have the impact he has done in the tournament so far.
The saviour against Romania and the man to throw the knockout punch against a resilient Albania, the former Marseille attacking midfielder has shown the entire world he can step up to any occasion when called upon.
Finding his best form under Marcelo Bielsa the year before signing for West Ham, Payet had always been a talented individual, but never found the consistency he needed to go the extra level.
Whipping him into shape and drilling the team tactically, the Argentinean manager will probably remain one of the most important men in Payet’s career.
His assistant, Jan Van Winckel, told L’Equipe that had the West Ham star linked up with Bielsa before, he could have been one of the best players in the world.
He said: “At the Euros, I don’t think any other French player stands out. I’m also not very surprised by his success in the Premier League. Dimitri can play in any club in the world, including Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“La Liga would have probably been better suited to his game, but at West Ham, he has a good club with good defensive players, which allows him to focus solely on attacking.”
Interestingly, both Spanish clubs have been linked with a move for the player in recent months, but with West Ham increasingly unlikely to want to let their best player go, a move to either seems near impossible at the moment.