Zola hails Diamanti quality

Hammers boss pleased with forward's improvement

Diamanti: Impressing Zola

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Gianfranco Zola has praised Alessandro Diamanti's improvement since his move to West Ham United and feels it is important the team have a player of the Italian's calibre.

Diamanti has scored six goals in 19 Premier League appearances since joining the Hammers from Livorno last summer and impressed again in Saturday's 3-0 win over Hull City.

The 26-year-old came close to scoring with a shot from his own half and has reminded Zola of his own days as a player for the likes of Parma and Chelsea.

The Hammers boss is happy to have a player capable of producing something unexpected and also feels Diamanti has made giant strides in terms of his work-rate this season.

Unpredictable

"Although I have very good players, I keep him playing all the time because I know he can do something special for us at any moment and it is important to have players like that," said Zola.

"You have to be on your toes when you play against him because he can score at any moment.

"That is a big thing, confidence wise, for the whole team. It is a big thing for me knowing that on the pitch I have a player who can score at any time.

"He is probably the only one crazy enough to try and score from his own half. Sometimes he does the unpredictable things. He also does unpredictable mistakes as I used to. That is the kind of player he is.

"But what is surprising me about him is that his work-rate is fantastic. He is also playing in a position where he has never played before. In Italy, he used to play second striker or maybe behind the two strikers in the hole.

"He didn't work very hard defensively, but now he works very hard for us and is massive for the team."