West Ham United have continued their busy summer recruitment spree by completing the signing of striker Simone Zaza. The Italian international arrives from Juventus on a season-long loan deal and will bolster a forward unit that has been depleted of late due to injuries suffered by Andy Carroll and club-record arrival Andre Ayew.
"I want to thank everyone for welcoming me including the fans and everyone at the club," Zaza was quoted as saying by West Ham's official website after the deal was announced. "I wanted to start a new experience and I feel this is the right choice for me.
"I have been fortunate enough to have already played at the new stadium with a different shirt. It is a beautiful stadium and I felt the warmth of the fans and this was a big reason why I wanted to join the club.
"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."
Zaza, who became the subject of various social media memes in the aftermath of his bizarre run-up during Italy's Euro 2016 quarter-final penalty shootout defeat to Germany, becomes the 11th new player signed by Slaven Bilic since ambitious West Ham departed Upton Park after 112 years for the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
Ayew, Havard Nordtveit, Gokhan Tore, Ashley Fletcher, Toni Martinez, Sofiane Feghouli, Jonathan Calleri and Arthur Masuaku have all joined, while former Al Jazira loanee Manuel Lanzini completed a permanent move and new midfielder Edmilison Fernandes was paraded in front of supporters before last week's desperately disappointing Europa League play-off exit at the hands of Astra Giurgiu. It was the second year in succession that they have been knocked out in qualifying by the Romanian champions.
The Hammers took the refreshing step of revealing the precise financial details of Zaza's arrival, confirming that the initial loan will cost the club €5m (£4.2m, $5.5m). A full-time €25m move will be triggered after an unspecified number of top-flight appearances and a further €3m will be due in "contingent payments".
The 25-year-old, who scored eight goals in 25 appearances and won the Serie A title with Juventus last term after moving from Sassuolo, was not signed in time to feature at Manchester City on Sunday but could make his debut after the international break as Bilic's side, currently 12th in the Premier League after an opening defeat by Chelsea and a narrow win over Bournemouth, entertain Watford. Zaza has already scored a goal at West Ham's new home, having notched a late winner in a 3-2 pre-season friendly victory for Juventus earlier this month that acted as the official opening.