"He's the man of the moment". That was how La Gazzetta dello Sport kicked off one of its reports on the Norway vs. Italy (2-0) game that saw Simone Zaza break onto the international scene.
At just 23 years old, Zaza is Italy's first-choice forward, alongside Immobile. He has had an outstanding start to the new season with Serie A minnows, Sassuolo. He scored in their opening league game of the campaign against Cagliari, scored in the Italian Cup and found the back of the net twice for Italy, against the Netherlands and Norway.
Zaza is a world class striker, who loses his marker with ease, has a powerful shot and is physically strong. He came through the youth ranks at Atalanta, where he made his Serie A debut. Then came success, firstly on loan at Ascoli (18 goals) - despite getting relegated to Serie B -, and then at Sassoulo (10 goals).
Pablo Fernández Longoria, Sassuolo's chief scout is Spanish and knows Simone very well. "He's an extremely promising forward. Physically speaking, he's an animal and has surprisingly good individual skills. He's on an amazing run of form and his goals are testament to that. He can go as far as he wants to".
"He had a great first season in Serie A, is having an amazing start to his second season and more of the same in his first senior international. €7.5m was a great deal for Sassuolo because signing him from Sampdoria was no easy feat".