THE majority of English citizens may have voted for Brexit, but for Huddersfield Town midfielder Jack Payne, the sense of ‘communautaire’ with his new continental chief is flourishing.
The diminutive attacking midfielder, who caught the eye in an impressive campaign at Southend United last term, says he is relishing working under Town’s German-born head coach David Wagner and embracing his modern European footballing methods.
Being handed the creative No 10 attacking brief in Wagner’s favoured 4-2-3-1 may have been at the forefront of Payne’s mind when it came to deciding upon his next destination after rejecting fresh terms at Roots Hall, but another factor was key in the decision of the Londoner.
Learning off a new-age and progressive footballing thinker in Wagner and broadening his footballing knowledge was also fundamental for Payne, who also had rival Championship interest and from abroad – with Sparta Rotterdam also linked.
Payne, who was on the books of Tottenham as a schoolboy before eventually joining Southend, cannot wait for his adventure to begin in the Broad Acres, having conducted plenty of research regarding Huddersfield and Wagner’s footballing credo.
Payne, who has signed a three-year-deal, said: “I have done a lot of research and it has all been good feedback. His philosophy is exactly what I want in terms of the weekly routine and certain schedule and style of play. You stick to that no matter what, which I think is important for consistency as a player mentally, which is perfect.
“His philosophy on and off the ball and on the pitch and off it all comes into play.
“Continental managers have a different view when it comes to nutrition, recovery and routine and maybe they are more advanced than we are, certainly most England coaches.
“That is how it seems to be and it will be helpful for me as a player.”
Boyhood West Ham fan Payne described himself as a No 10 who revels in possessing a licence to thrill, something he was handed by Southend manager Phil Brown, with the Shrimpers operating a similar system to Wagner.
That was another factor in the decision of Payne, whose game is modelled on a clutch on Premier League favourites and one very special continental talent.
He added: “We varied with full different formations at Southend, but, in the main, I was behind the striker. I scored nine goals last season and did quite well and enjoyed it and will, hopefully, get more next season in the same system.
“That No 10 role just suits me. Of the players who inspire me, the obvious one is Barcelona’s (Lionel) Messi.
“But he is out of this planet and it is hard to model your game on someone that good.
“But in the Premier League, there are the likes of (David) Silva and (Juan) Mata and (Phillipe) Coutinho and all of the little No 10s.
“In a lot of teams, the higher you go, you see a lot of those No 10s. They are the players I watch and like.”