West Ham: Zaza signs; French sensation eyed up; star earns England call-up
The Hammers have now confirmed the signing Simone Zaza on an initial loan move with a view to a permanent move for £24 million at the end of the season if the forward can impress Slaven Bilic enough to warrant an extended stay at the London Stadium. The 25-year-old international will now join the effort to see the club return to Europe next season after a disappointing exit, as he told the club website:
“I want to become a better player and I know I can do that at West Ham. Unfortunately we could not qualify for the Europa League, but I am hoping I can help the Club do that next season.”
The Italian himself is looking to rejuvenate his career, having struggled for form and game time at Juventus before being pivotal to one of the key moments of Euro 2016 for all of the wrong reasons. With little competition due to injuries at present, Zaza will have time to prove himself and show all of his quality to his new fans.
West Ham are set to press on with their transfer business according to the Sun, who claim that they will rival Stoke City in a loan move for France under-19 captain Lucas Tousart. Tousart captained his country to under 19s European Championship success this summer and is now looking for first team football.
Having signed for Lyon from Valenciennes; where he made 19 Ligue 1 appearances, last summer for just over £2 million, he has struggled at his new club and appeared in the first team just once since signing.
Tousart is a promising player who is still very highly thought of by many French football experts and coaches within the international set-up, and even Lyon are reluctant to allow him to leave and will only consider loan offers. The Hammers could capitalise and use the 19-year-old to add depth to their shallow midfield ranks and provide competition. Likened in style to Steven Gerrard in the past, Tousart would be a promising addition for the club.
Speaking of players on the verge of breaking through on the international scene, right sided player Michail Antonio has earned a call-up to the England squad for the first time as former Irons manager Sam Allardyce named his squad for his debut against Slovakia on Saturday.
Some Hammers fans had claimed that he was deserving of a call-up under Roy Hodgson but that wish has now been realised, although Mark Noble may feel a little disappointed to have missed out yet again.
Antonio has been in impressive form with two goals in his last two Premier League appearances and has excelled playing further forward on the right wing. With a lack of width criticised by many in Euro 2016 and Allardyce keen on playing with traditional wingers, this provides a real opportunity to the former Nottingham Forest star to make a statement and convince Big Sam that he can be the solution to that problem and become a fixture in the England side for years to come.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Rasit Ozdemir.