West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic
West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has told the club's official website that he felt Simone Zaza was 'different class' against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The Hammers picked up just their second league win of the season on Saturday evening, as Manuel Lanzini struck to clinch a 1-0 victory.
A number of Hammers players impressed at Selhurst Park, and fans saw striker Simone Zaza enjoy his best performance since signing from Juventus.
West Ham United's Simone Zaza in action with Crystal Palace's James Tomkins
The 25-year-old striker joined West Ham from Juventus in August, with manager Slaven Bilic viewing the Italian international as the answer to West Ham's striking problems.
So far, Zaza has struggled in the Premier League, as he has yet to find the back of the net, and West Ham fans have been critical of his performances as a result.
Yet on Saturday, the former Sassuolo man ran himself into the ground and led the line admirably in a hard-working display.
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic speaks with Simone Zaza
Now, Zaza will be hoping to kick on an not only continue that level of performance, but also add goals to his game – starting with Saturday's game against bottom club Sunderland.
Speaking to the club's official website, Hammers boss Bilic has revealed that he spoke to Zaza after the final whistle against Palace, telling him that he was back to the player that impressed at Sassuolo, even adding that he won West Ham the game with his centre forward play.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic
“Zaza was different class on Saturday. I told him after the game ‘This is the Zaza I know from Sassuolo and from Juventus and the goals will come’. Goals are really important for strikers, but they will come,” said Bilic.
“I told him after the game straight away ‘Zaza, you won today. Tonight you won more balls in the air against two good centre-halves in Delaney and Tomkins than you won in the four or five games you played before’. Without him, we wouldn’t have won, it’s as simple as that,” he added.
What did you think of Zaza's performance against Crystal Palace?