West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has defended his summer transfer business after the East London club began the 2016/17 Premier League season miserably. Bilic signed Simone Zaza from Juventus on a season-long loan deal but the Italian has seemingly not lived up to his role of scoring or creating any goals.
In response, Bilic has drawn a comparison to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp and believes it is a matter of time before Zaza starts delivering. Furthermore, the manager also defended the sale of defender James Tomkins who was sold to city rivals Crystal Palace.
Simone Zaza was signed on loan by West Ham for a fee of £5m with an option to make the deal permanent with a further £20m. However, 7 game weeks into the season, the Italian forward is yet to find the back of the net . Nonetheless, Bilic believes the player has qualities that the club could use and he deserves some time to settle down in a new club and a new country.
Slaven Bilic 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.”
The manager seems to be fulfilling his agenda of motivating his players, as in the case of Zaza he is well aware that he wasn’t a regular at Juventus and needs to be revitalised. Also, Bilic must make use of his options if he needs to get the club’s campaign back on track after just one win and a draw from the opening seven games that has marred it into a torrid start.
Furthermore, Bilic exonerated his decision to sell defender James Tomkins wasn’t actually his. He claims the player forced a move due to lack of regular action.
He added: “It was never me or the club that wanted to sell him. James wanted to play week in, week out. I used him a lot last year and he played many games for us. But when he wasn’t the first choice, he found it very hard in a nice and sporting way. Not in a bad way. That is the reason. I hate to sell. For me it was always the plan to play local players – West Ham academy players, then London-based players, then English, then British. Then, if we can’t find that, we go abroad. Tomkins is local.”
Tomkins has now made a promising start to his career at Crystal Palace making first-team starts and has even scored a goal for the Eagles.
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