Petit told the Guardian: "Amid all the controversy the guy's footballing talent has been completely overshadowed. If any other player had rescued his club like he did, we would all be shouting from the rooftops. In addition to his skills he has passion, positive anger, an amazing attitude and, at 23, he is yet to reach his peak.
"What I love most, though, is the way he can change a game by himself. I was at West Ham's match against Bolton in May. As West Ham's only likely saviour Tevez was under extraordinary pressure to perform. He scored two goals and created the third in a 3-1 win. He was undoubtedly the Premiership's finest performer in the second half of last season and there is no one I would rather watch this time around."
"The circumstances of Theo's move to Arsenal and inclusion in England's World Cup squad ensured he spent last season under huge pressure. I've seen the boy train and I can tell you he is something special. At times last season he reminded me of a wild horse - amazing speed but unsure of his direction. This campaign he must have the direction, the confidence and, above all else, an ability to score goals for his team."