Simone Zaza will forever be grateful to Sassuolo and Eusebio Di Francesco, but has “no regrets” about his time at Juventus.
The striker has rediscovered his confidence and form at Valencia following a dire spell at West Ham United.
But it was at the Mapei Stadium under Coach Di Francesco – who is now in charge of Roma – where Zaza found his feet.
“Sassuolo is the team I will always keep in my heart and support, because that’s where I started everything,” he told Fox Sports Italia.
“I began to be a Serie A player there, I started learning to score goals and move around the pitch well. I have to thank Di Francesco, who taught me all of these things.
“I also had an extraordinary rapport with the fans and the city.”
Zaza went on to Juventus, but found himself often warming the bench or being used as an impact sub.
“The best memory of my year at Juve was winning the Scudetto and Coppa Italia, because those were the first trophies of my career. I also cherish the goal I scored against Napoli and the two in the derby with Torino.
“Despite the fact I didn’t get much space, I still did some good things and gave everything I had at that moment. Naturally, I had a long way to go in order to improve as a player and I still do.
“I don’t want to remember Juve as a regret, but as a wonderful experience that taught me so much. I was part of a squad that still today has remarkable champions.”