When Simone Zaza first arrived among the Premier League within Slaven Bilic’s first team squad this summer, most regular Premier League onlookers knew little of the Italian striker’s overall capabilities in front of goal, or what he could soon bring to the English game amidst a new look West Ham side looking to impress at London’s Olympic Stadium.
The 2016/17 league campaign has subsequently begun in awful fashion for the Hammers however, leaving Zaza and his string of so far goal-less performances with little sympathy among the die-hard West Ham faithful. The Hammers will reportedly be forced to sign the 25-year-old front-man permanently if he achieves as little as 15 appearances this term, which could spell further disaster for the club in their constant struggle to replace the ever-injured Andy Carroll up top.
So then, is this already the beginning of the end for Simone Zaza among the often troublesome English top-flight, or could the on-loan Juventus centre-forward suddenly start turning on the style with the Hammers in the not too distant future?
Can we terminate Tore and Zaza's loan deals???? the sooner they go back to where they came from the better, awful footballers
— Aaron (@_AaronD7) October 2, 2016
Zaza: Feel sorry for him. Hasn't had any real clear cut chances but gets slated. Very good movement off the ball, his goals will come.
— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) September 21, 2016
Let’s face it, although no striker can suddenly be considered a bad player overnight for failing to adapt to their newfound surroundings with immediate success, Simone Zaza has ultimately struggled to assert his dominance among the Premier League thus far – and there sadly seems to be little sign of improvement on the cards if Slaven Bilic continues to employ him as a solitary centre-forward, with little to work off of from his often unimaginative midfielders.
Zaza’s Premier League plight arguably comes down to how he has been used out on the pitch for the most part, as alongside a potential strike-partner in West Ham colours this term, this is one player who at least possesses the potential to make things happen. The 25-year-old striker seemingly works hard and wants to make a success of himself among the Premier League, it’s just that so far he’s been about as useful as that dreadful spot-kick miss against the Germans at Euro 2016.
Put in no uncertain terms whatsoever, Simone Zaza just wasn’t the star centre-forward West Ham were so badly craving in the run up to the 2016/17 campaign. The Hammers may have failed in their admittedly ambitious attempts to land the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Michy Batshuayi before the close of the summer transfer window – but with Christian Benteke seemingly facing the exit door from Liverpool just a short matter of months ago – perhaps the Hammers missed an obvious solution to replacing star striker, Andy Carroll.
Although anything can happen for the bearded Italian international between now and the end of the season, Simone Zaza’s convoluted contract situation with the Hammers makes it increasingly difficult to envisage this player truly making a name for himself among the English top-flight any time soon. If the West Ham chairmen had simply witnessed Zaza’s penalty miss at Euro 2016 and cast him aside like the rest of us, maybe the Hammers wouldn’t be struggling so badly out on the pitch right in the here and now.