West Ham manager, Slaven Bilic has defended the club’s potential £25m permanent signing of striker Simone Zaza, claiming his start is no different to Dennis Bergkamp’s start 20 years ago, 90min reports.
According to the Mirror Bilic has insisted he still has the utmost faith in the Italian international to start firing – despite not scoring in his first four appearances.
The club paid an initial £5m loan fee to take the Italian from Serie A champions Juventus in the summer. A further £20m is due if they decide to make the move permanent next summer but Zaza has thus far failed to make much of an impression on West Ham fans.
There have even been suggestions that due to his poor form Zaza’s loan deal could be pulled in January with AC Milan keen to take him back to Serie A.
However, Bilic has defended his striker and compared his start to one of the greatest strikers to grace the Premier League. The West Ham manager said:
“He is definitely a good player who came from a big club to a new country. New players need time. If we go back and think about Dennis Bergkamp, who needed – I don’t know – a year?
“It is quite common with even the best players from abroad. Plus, Zaza wasn’t a regular there and didn’t have match fitness. It takes time sometimes and unfortunately we don’t have that time.”
Zaza only moved to Juventus last season but failed to hold down a permanent first-team place scoring just eight goals in 24 appearances. He also catapulted himself to fame for the wrong reasons when he hit one of the worst penalties of all time over the bar in Italy’s quarter-final penalty shootout against Germany.