Mauro Zarate proved that there is hope without Dimiri Payet for West Ham United with an inch-perfect free-kick which has given them a half-time lead over West Bromwich Albion at Upton Park.
The Argentine, filling the create void left by injured talisman Payet, gave Baggies goalkeeper Boaz Myhill absolutely no chance as he expertly picked out the top corner with this 25-yard pearler on 17 minutes.
Zarate now has three Premier League goals for the season despite only starting four times – he has six further appearances off the bench – and it had been the form of Payet keeping him out of the team.
The Frenchman took to English football like a duck to water upon his £10m arrival from Marseille in the summer – fee reported by BBC Sport – scoring five goals and contributing four assists in 12 matches.
But a tackle from Everton midfielder James McCarthy has sidelined Payet for three months, according to Sky Sports, and they were thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in their first match without him.
With Zarate popping up with gems like this one, and shrewd loan signing Manuel Lanzini continuing to impress behind the striker, Payet’s absence may not hurt the Hammers as much as initially suspected.
Half-time: West Ham United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
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