West Ham spent the summer staggering from one striker transfer option to another, and Juventus saw them coming and planned accordingly.
Zaza had scored a grand total of 6 goals for Juventus, and added zero assists, and yet West Ham agreed to pay €5m for a loan and a further €20m once the Italian had played a set number of games.
It was masterful from Juventus, but they hit a problem when Slaven Bilic and co at West Ham quickly realised Zaza wasn’t the player he’d been hyped up to be. Managing zero goals and zero assists for the Hammers, Juventus were told a deal wouldn’t happen and their best bet was to find Zaza a new home.
Pocketing the €5m from West Ham, Juventus still weren’t willing to let Zaza go on the cheap. The Turin club, who really are excellent at transfers, managed to get Valencia to commit to a €2m loan fee, €16m to make the move permanent, and a further €2m after 50 matches.
Since arriving from West Ham, Zaza has played 10 games for Valencia and this time he’s got rid of the zero. Scoring two goals in February, Zaza was hailed a hero, but he hasn’t scored in the four matches since despite playing 90 minutes in all of them.
Zaza reached the set number of matches to make his move permanent over the weekend, and it’s fair to say it’s not gone down universally well in Spain. Catalan newspaper Sport Tweeted that the cost of Zaza is ‘exorbitant’, and that’s annoyed the Valencia press.
— Diario SPORT (@sport) March 10, 2017
Valencia newspaper Super Deporte have hit back, pointing out Barcelona paid €30m for Paco Alcacer during the summer, and he’s pretty much been missing since. Perhaps the difference is that Barcelona didn’t need Alcacer to be their saviour, he was a luxury substitute, but Valencia, strapped for cash, have pretty much bet a big part of their future on Zaza.
The war of words continues in Spain, with fans getting involved, but given West Ham’s Zaza cost would have been even higher it looks like they’ve dodged a bullet here.