Payet returned to OM in 2017 and is now club captain.
Bilic told Four Four Two: "When I talk about Dimitri, I can only say good things about him. With West Ham, he became a Premier League star and broke into the national team. And then he took part in Euro 2016 and asked to be upgraded or to leave.
"The club refused, as they had already done so in their first season. Me, I was in the middle of all that and I saw him become a little less good. He then said that he wanted to go home. It was not easy for me to manage this situation, but we did it in a smart way.
"During the Christmas period, when there were a lot of matches, we hoped that he would stay. He gave his best, but he was different in attitude. From the moment he was with us, his status changed and this was even more the case after the Euros. It's normal for a player's appetite to grow when this happens."
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