The Frenchman arrived at West Ham last season from Marseille and produced nine goals and 12 assists for the team, who have struggled to get firing this season with three wins in 11 games so far.
The Wales international praised “the special player” for helping the Hammers and his country at the Euros in the summer, while he admits he didn’t know too much about him before Slaven Bilic signed him.
“Dimi is a tremendous player. What he did for West Ham last season was fantastic and he was the catalyst for everything we did,” Collins told the club’s official website.
“He was setting up goals, scoring goals and the manager made a real point when he signed Dimi.
“He makes other players around him more confident and then what he did for France during the summer took him to another level.
“I probably realised how good he was in the first couple of days when he put the ball through my legs and turned the other defenders before putting the ball past the keeper!
“If I am honest I didn’t know too much about him when he first came but when I saw the things he could do, I knew he was a special player.”
Payet has scored two goals in all competitions – with his last-minute free-kick keeping the Hammers in the EFL Cup against Accrington Stanley – this season, and has made four league assists.
The 29-year-old has created 40 chances this season – more than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues so far.
West Ham are one point off the relegation zone, following their 1-1 draw with Stoke City before the international break, and will be looking to pick up points against Tottenham Hotspur – who are unbeaten this season – at White Hart Lane on Saturday.