Simone Zaza has been frozen out at reigning Serie A champions Juventus, thus prompting speculation of a January move to Premier League outfit Watford.
According to The Mirror, out-of-favour forward Zaza has been offered to English sides Watford, West Ham United and Stoke City with a view to a temporary switch.
Juve may still believe in the Italian international’s potential at the age of 24, but also feel that he’d be best served by undertaking a loan spell elsewhere in order to get some valuable minutes under his belt.
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However, with the Hornets appearing to be the party most likely to make a move, it would seem another tough task for Zaza to break into the starting line-up at Vicarage Road.
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo have been ripping Premier League defences apart this season due to a potent mix of pace and power, and neither are likely to step aside for any new arrival without a fight.
Juventus have utilised Zaza just three times from the start in all competitions this term, despite their early struggles that left them languishing within the bottom half of Serie A at one stage.
The frontman has featured on four occasions as a substitute in league action, as well as making a further two Champions League outings from the bench.
Zaza has notched three goals in that period to his credit, but two came as a late arrival into proceedings. As a result, he is in danger of becoming renowned as an impact sub, which is certainly not going to help his chances of representing his country at Euro 2016.
He usually finds significant obstacles Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata blocking his way when coach Massimiliano Allegri fields a three-man forward line, while Paulo Dybala is often selected in support of Mandzukic in a two-pronged attack.
It’s been a hugely disappointing start to life in a Juventus shirt for Zaza, with no sign of an imminent improvement on the horizon.
Watford stars Deeney and Ighalo have banged in five and ten league goals each, while producing six assists between them after 16 matches.
Obviously, the mitigating circumstances involved are that the Watford attackers are firm regulars in Quique Sanchez Flores’ side, while Zaza has endured a stop-start campaign to say the least.
It was an entirely different story at former club Sassuolo, where he bagged 20 league strikes in 64 appearances during the course of two highly enjoyable top-flight seasons prior to 2015-16.
Similar in nature to the aforementioned Deeney and Ighalo partnership, he dovetailed beautifully with fellow forward Domenico Berardi – who personally hit 31 league goals during their stint together – in ensuring Serie A safety for the unfancied Neroverdi.
Zaza is physically strong, pacy and good in the air, as evidenced by his 2.5 aerial duels won per game last year when in full flow at Sassuolo.
While he is arguably a more dangerous player than any of Watford’s plethora of reserve strikers including Steven Berghuis and Victor Ibarbo, he would still be classed as a back-up option for Deeney and Ighalo initially.
It may be exasperating for Zaza to be constantly kicking his heels at Juventus, but he’d be better advised to look elsewhere in England – or his homeland – for a more promising proposition than those currently on the table.
Otherwise, it’ll be a case of going straight back to square one for the Policoro native at a club already blessed with two talented goalscorers.
Can Deeney and Ighalo fire Watford to a top half finish this season? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below