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Simone Zaza finds a home in Valencia... maybe

£20 million for Simone Zaza is starting not to look so bad

Leandro Paredes (left) and Simone Zaza compete for the ball... Photo by Nicolò Campo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus has agreed to send Simone Zaza to Valencia in yet another loan to buy deal worth £16 million. Similar to his West Ham loan structure, the buyout clause will be triggered after 15 appearances.

In a strange way, you have to feel for Simone Zaza. After a remarkable campaign with Sassuolo, where he racked up an impressive 21 goals, Zaza was quickly plucked by Serie A powerhouse, Juventus. For the 25 year old striker, this should have been the pinnacle of his career. The culmination of a boyhood dream and a lifetime of hard work.

During Simone’s 2015 campaign with Juventus he was effective when he actually had the chance to join his teammates on the pitch. Zaza shook the back of the net 8 times in 18 appearances in all competitions. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck behind the likes of Alvaro Morata, Mario Mandžukić, and Paulo Dybala. Simone Zaza was not long for Juventus.

When the 2016 season rolled around Juventus agreed to loan to West Ham United on a loan to buy deal, worth £20 million. Tied to the loan was a clause that would trigger a permanent move if Simone Zaza made 15 appearances with the club from East London.

As the tumultuous season at West Ham moved forward, it became glaringly obvious that Zaza would not make the appearance quota. David Sullivan and David Gold started to put the wheels in motion to send an underwhelming Simone Zaza back to whence he came. When all was said and done, Zaza made all of 8 appearances and no goals to speak of.

However Simone seems to take on the role of a scapegoat. In a season with no offensive standouts in East London, it’s tough to put it all on one individual. West Ham’s attacking woes can be blamed on tactics, injuries, formations, and effort. None of which include the likes of Simone. In fact, the one positive attribute pundits and fans agreed on was that Simone Zaza’s work rate was first class. A strange sight in a clubhouse whose motivation and efforts have come under scrutiny. That’s not to say he hasn’t had his share of embarrassing blunders.

Was keeping Simone Zaza the better play here? For £20 million, most experts said no. However, take into consideration the following bids West Ham United have been rumored to make. £20 million for Mousa Dembele from Celtic, £12 million for Jermaine Defoe, and £10 million for Scott Hogan. Considering the pedigree and success Simone Zaza has had before joining West Ham, perhaps £20 million for the Italian forward isn’t looking so terrible.