The France manager, Didier Deschamps, has spoken tonight to French-based news outlet Canal+, including discussing the in-form Dimitri Payet.

The 28-year-old attacking midfielder last appeared for the national side in June in a 1-0 defeat to Albania, and has not been called up to the France squad since making his £10.5m move to West Ham in the summer

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Deschamps claims it’s not an attitude issue for Payet’s exclusion from the international setup, but that it’s down to a strong competition for places within the squad, with the likes of Mathieu Valbuena, Antoine Griezmann and Hatem Ben Arfa all vying for a place in the team in the same role as Payet. (H/T to GFFN for the quotes)

“He has some very attractive statistics out on the left. But it is also a question of competition. And on the left for France, the competition is called Griezmann, Martial, Ben Arfa, Coman or Valbuena. I have no problem with his attitude. It is a choice about football based on the other competition. He does not perform the same for France as he does for his club.”

Football pundits have not been short in their praise for Payet since his arrival to the Premier League, regarding him as one of the, if not the best signing of the summer.

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What he’s done for West Ham is nothing short of remarkable; he’s reinvigorated a fan base devoid of entertainment in recent history, he provides moments of absolute brilliance which takes your breath away, and you’re always captivated and on the edge of your seat when he picks up the ball because he can create something from nothing.

The Frenchman spoke earlier in the season about his dropping from the international set-up. It’s fair to say he’s not pleased, and he has a case.

I feel as if it is an injustice. It is more than a year now that I am in the best form of my career, even if I can still get better. So, for me, it is unjust not to be in the France squad.

I do not understand what is expected of me. But not to be called up for France does not stop me from living. Perhaps it is my fault because I have not done what is expected of me, but maybe there is more to it.

If you ask all my coaches, I don’t think they will tell you: ‘Dimitri, he is an idiot.’ The thing that I haven’t yet come to terms with is the injustice.

With a remarkable 9 goals and 8 assists so far this season (both team highs), Payet has undeniably been the star performer for a Hammers side that are embroiled in a race for a Europa League place next season, as well as enjoying a great FA Cup run following their 5-1 thrashing of Blackburn, where Payet scored twice, seeing them through to the quarter-finals.

Payet recently put pen-to-paper to a new five-and-a-half-year deal to stay put at West Ham until 2021, worth a reported £125,000-a-week. Since signing that deal, he has three goals and two assists in two outings. Fair to say, even at that price, he’s still a bargain.

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