Zola - Savio not a gamble
But Upton Park boss recognises teenager will require time to settle
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: January 27, 2009 3:12pm
Zola: Prepared to take time with signing
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola does not believe record signing Savio is a gamble but recognises the teenager will need time to settle at Upton Park.
"We like to gamble, but I do not think that Savio is a gamble."
Gianfranco Zola Quotes of the week
The Hammers completed a deal, believed to be worth in the region of £9million, for the 19-year-old on Tuesday morning as Zola ended his search for a replacement for Craig Bellamy, who joined Manchester City last week.
Zola is now excited about working with Savio, but acknowledges that the former Brescia star will require the opportunity to find his feet in England.
When asked about the Germany youth international, Zola told Sky Sports News: "We have expectations of him, but we do not forget that the boy is 19 years old and he has come here for the future.
"We are going to try an improve him and make him a better player. We know that he has got great potential and can become a top player.
"But everybody needs to be patient. He wants to improve and we want to help him, but he also needs time to settle.
"The reason why we bought Savio is that we saw the potential which belongs to special players. We like to gamble, but I do not think that Savio is a gamble."
And Zola confirmed that West Ham are still waiting for international clearance before discovering whether Savio will be available to make his debut against Hull City at Upton Park on Wednesday.
"We hope that he will be available for tomorrow," added Zola. "We are still waiting for international clearance."
Meanwhile, Savio - who scored three goals in 22 appearances for Brescia - has expressed his delight at sealing his move to East London.
"I am happy to be here and proud to have the opportunity to play for a club like West Ham," said Savio.
"West Ham is a big club. So I was very exited to learn that they were interested."