Spanish outlet Univision are reporting that Valencia’s new manager Cesare Prandelli is eyeing up a move for flop striker Simone Zaza. The Italian has struggled to adapt to life in London and in his opening five games has failed to even come close to finding the net for the Hammers. With a clause in his loan agreement which would trigger a £24 million purchase if he makes a further five appearances, West Ham are reluctant to retain the faith and may try to send him back to Juventus.
Such an action would be a remarkable statement that would prove the extent of the failure that was the Irons’ transfer policy this summer, having missed out on almost all of their top targets, particularly up front. However, the interest of Valencia and Napoli means that parent club Juventus may be prepared to take him back if they can sell him elsewhere.
One player who enjoyed a more fruitful loan spell at the club, then at Upton Park, was Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson. Having spent 18 months on loan at the Hammers, he told Arsenal.com:
I’ve definitely grown up a lot in the last couple of years. I like to think I’ve always been quite a mature lad but just learning how to deal in everyday life with certain situations, I think I’ve matured a lot. I think on the pitch I’m better at making decisions and it comes with experience. I’ve played a lot of football over the last couple of years for someone my age. I’ve played 50 odd games in the Premier League, which was fantastic for me. That experience is invaluable.
Jenkinson made 59 appearances for the club, mostly at right back but also providing cover at centre back, having scored three goals in that time. The 24-year-old is now struggling for game time at the Emirates, but his time with the Hammers is likely to help him in finding a new club if that is to be the next step in his career.
Co-chairman David Sullivan has also spoken out regarding criticism of the club’s stadium move after a tough start to life at the London Stadium, saying in a statement on the club website:
I have to say I am getting increasingly fed up with the negative campaigning against the stadium by some sections of the media. I find it particularly galling when the journalists who are writing these skewed opinions have not even been to the stadium. To put it into perspective at the Middlesbrough game there were five arrests – ALL outside the stadium in the public park. It has not yet been confirmed which of these supporters are West Ham United fans. However, I fully accept that’s too many and we are in the process of identifying and banning these supporters in line with our zero tolerance policy.
The club are doing all they can to avoid further incidents at the stadium, with fans wishing to purchase tickets for the upcoming EFL Cup clash with Chelsea having to have a history of having bought a ticket for a West Ham game in the last five years in order to be eligible to be able to attend the game.
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