The break-up was sudden, the fall-out was ugly, but Diego Poyet insists Charlton still hold a special place in his heart.
Poyet’s move to West Ham United this summer was nothing if not controversial. The midfielder moved north of the Thames to the Premier League club just weeks after being voted player of the year by Charlton’s fans.
But Poyet has suggested any Addicks feeling scorned would be better off directing their ire at the club’s previous owners before the Roland Duchatelet takeover.
“My contract had always been running out for a while, so it was something that the owners before hadn’t sorted out”, Poyet explained.
“At the end of the season I was always going to weigh up my options I checked with a few clubs, obviously Charlton was still playing a big part – I was happy there.
“But as soon as a club like West Ham came in for me it was a no brainer.”
Poyet has since been spotted in the stands back at the Valley, but he is not – unfortunately – hankering for a return to his old home just yet.
The cool-headed youngster, who became the lynchpin of Charlton’s midfield last season, is yet to start a Premier League game for his new club, but insists he has no regrets over his decision.
“Yeah, I went to the Valley to watch a game. We (West Ham) had a game on a Monday night so I went on the Saturday after training to see some of my old teammates. They got a good result, I was very pleased for them”, the 19-year-old said.
“I’ll always wish Charlton all the best, but I’m a West Ham player now.
“You know everyone’s always going to have different opinions; ‘why did you go there? You’re not going to have a chance to play’.
“I mean, I’m 19, I’m calm, I’m in no rush. I’m learning every day and surrounded by good players. I’m very pleased I made the decision I made.”
Poyet was speaking at the launch of West Ham’s Club London earlier this week.