Thursday August 23 2018
Zaza running out of chances

Simone Zaza joins Torino from Valencia after a series of flops and this time he simply must deliver, writes Nick Valerio.

For every Gianfranco Zola, there is a Bernardo Corradi and it was obvious to the vast majority of Calcio followers which Italian Simone Zaza would emulate once his move to West Ham United was confirmed in the summer of 2016.

Of course, there was great expectation from the East London natives who celebrated the arrival of a 25-year-old Scudetto winner and Italian international. Unfortunately for Zaza, his career has gone downhill ever since he took the brave decision to leave the Bianconeri in search of regular first team football.

The Policoro-born forward endured a miserable six months in England, failing to score a single goal before suffering a knee injury that curtailed his time with the Hammers. In January 2017, Zaza joined Valencia on loan before signing permanently in April. The former Sassuolo striker enjoyed mixed success as the Mestalla, bagging a very respectable 13 goals from 33 league appearances, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in favour at the Spanish outfit.

Consequently, Zaza finds himself back in Italy’s top flight after two troublesome years away and can consider himself fortunate to be given another opportunity at a club which harbours European ambitions.

In fairness to the player, a major issue that has faced Zaza is his position. The former Juventus attacker is naturally suited as a second striker, or in a tandem with another forward, but played as the lone hitman during his ill-fated period in England. Despite this, a return of 19 goals in three years is simply not good enough.

Zaza has been afforded another chance and will now link up with international colleague Andrea Belotti. On paper, the duo should complement each other well, with the burly presence of Belotti occupying the opponents’ rearguard, while Zaza operates in a slightly more withdrawn role with less emphasis on being the focal point of the team.

Zaza can also take inspiration from compatriot Ciro Immobile. The Neapolitan left the Granata in 2014 for a big money transfer to Borussia Dortmund that was swiftly turned in to a loan to Sevilla. Immobile failed to settle but has not looked back since securing a move to Lazio in 2016. The 28-year-old hit over 40 goals last term and has continued where he left off at the start of the new season.

In the meantime, the new Toro Number 91 should feature against Inter this weekend and what better way to reintroduce himself than a winner on his return to Serie A football?

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.

Have your say...
@giancarlo c's mom
how could he be in starting 11 if he only managed 4 goals in 18 appearances? Yes, every player has their low points in their career but unlike Immobile, I doubt Zaza'll revamp his.
on the 24th August, 2018 at 8:55am
While he is remembered mostly for his failed Euro penalty, I always remember him for his strike against Napoli that turned that took Juventus to 1st during the 2016 campionato.
on the 24th August, 2018 at 3:43am
When you think the years and time spent wasted on waiting for mario Balotelli to deliver on this world class talent that none of us have seen Zaza should be given a lifetime of chances.
Zaza proves everything thats wrong with Serie A and italian football.
Yes the penalty was terrible but Zaza is one of serveral players who have been let down by a big move that led to bench warming. I am not saying he would have been world class but given all the chance Balo has Zaza should have too.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 11:52pm
Its because he is not good. he is a fraud. A product of opportunity.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 11:16pm
He’s definitely not at a top level, or never was or will be the likes of a Totti,Del Perio,or even Pippo Inzaghi. But he had a spark of talent and perhaps a glimmer of modern Italian footballers best talents...BUT we all saw what he did at Euro 16....
Now I don’t wanna say 1 simple missed PK in a big game should define your career,but damn he blew chance to make history, help Azzurri in the clutch when they needed him to. he was ashamed and well should have.
I can forgive Baggio, but not him.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 9:24pm
this the tittle is so misleading as a result i will ignore the blog and ask how has he really flopped other than at west ham where he was awful. Nothing in his goal ratio suggest this guy career is in decline maybe heading toward mediocrity.

In any case i can't but feel that there are some unrealistic expectations of zaza comparing him to immobile is absurd they are completely different players. For a striker with no pace and limited technical ability he is going pretty well.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 7:45pm
i blame that ridiculous penalty vs germany for his fall from form
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 6:05pm
@ Doddy Juve: Imo, Juve had no intention to sell, It was Zaza who wanted to leave in order to get 1st team football. I recall Zaza's goal ratio/chance was the highest amongst Juve's strikers. He was excellent as back up.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 4:41pm
He was sold coz he was clearly not the right player for Juventus. He shoulda joined Sampdoria coz Quagliarella woulda been a perfect partner.

@Lukas damn, you beat me to this LMAO
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 3:31pm
That penalty did for his career.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 1:38pm
Zaza was excellent even at Juve. Not yet doing enough to be a starter, but in a fine tradition of Nicola Amoruso and Gigi Casiraghi as a first-rate back up. He deserved more, though, and will get there. The author is a tad uncharitable in his criticisms. West Ham and Valencia are both chaotic clubs and were never ideal destinations. The fate of great players who end up being bounced from one doomed team to another must surely be one of the reasons why Berardi stays put...
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 1:08pm
I disagree at the start of the piece; his career went downhill when he left Sassuolo to join Juventus only to become a bit-part player. He was playing regularly and making a great partnership with Berardi (another player who has subsided) back then.
on the 23rd August, 2018 at 7:28am

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