West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists striker Simone Zaza will come good
Last Updated: 01/10/16 9:48am
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists patience is the key for Italy international Simone Zaza.
The striker, who signed on loan from Juventus with a view to a permanent club-record £24m transfer next year, has yet to score for the Hammers.
He has struggled so much that reports in Italy have claimed the Hammers could cancel his loan deal and send him back to Turin.
But Bilic insists Zaza, famed for skying his penalty after a stuttered run-up against Germany at Euro 2016, will come good and compared his slow start in England to that of Arsenal icon Dennis Bergkamp
"He is definitely a good player who came from a big club to a new country," said Bilic.
"New players need time. If we go back and think about Bergkamp, who needed - I don't know - a year?
"The problem now is, and it is quite common with even the best players from abroad, they need time.
"Plus he wasn't a regular at Juventus and didn't have match fitness. It takes time sometimes, and unfortunately we don't have that time."
Zaza's struggles have mirrored those of his new club, who have lost five of their six Premier League matches so far to lie in the relegation zone.
And Bilic concedes his immediate task is turning their season around, starting with Saturday's visit of Middlesbrough.
"I am concerned. It's a very bad start," Bilic said.
"It's not only about football then. If it's like that then people start talking about non-football things that are happening.
"It's not only that. We are talking about the last five Premier League games, and it's simply not the way we expected it to be.
"It's definitely no good and that's why the only thing we are thinking about is the game on Saturday against Middlesbrough."