West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has jumped to the defence of misfiring striker Simone Zaza and compared him with Dennis Bergkamp.
Zaza’s father and agent has claimed his son needs time to settle in at West Ham before anyone gets to see him at his best following a poor start to the season, the Italian having so far failed to find the back of the net.
Zaza is on a season-long loan at a cost of £5m and that will be turned into a £20m permanent deal if he completes a set number of games.
Bilic is confident he will get better and hopes he follows in the footsteps of the legendary Bergkamp, who took the best past of a year to settle at Arsenal.
“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.”
Gunners legend Bergkamp took seven games to get on the score sheet at Arsenal and netted 11 throughout his first season.