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Tristan could prove a big hit

PUBLISHED: 17:12 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 05 October 2010

GIANFRANCO ZOLA believes former Spain international Diego Tristan can recapture the form that made him one of Europe s deadliest strikers after moving to Upton Park. Tristan became Zola s first signing as Hammers boss after agreeing a one-year contract la

GIANFRANCO ZOLA believes former Spain international Diego Tristan can recapture the form that made him one of Europe's deadliest strikers after moving to Upton Park.

Tristan became Zola's first signing as Hammers boss after agreeing a one-year contract last week following his release from Italian side Livorno in the summer.

The 32-year-old established a reputation as a world-class striker during a six-year spell at Deportivo La Coruna earlier in his career, scoring 77 goals in 179 appearances and earning 15 caps for Spain.

But he has endured a miserable period since leaving Deportivo in 2006 and scored just once in 20 appearances with Livorno last season as the club were relegated from Serie A, prompting his release at the end of the campaign.

Yet Zola is convinced that Tristan is capable of returning to prominence with West Ham after the powerful forward impressed the Italian with his technique and attitude during a successful two-week trial at the club.

"Diego is a very good player," Zola said. "With Dean Ashton out for a few weeks, he will be a very good replacement.

"We're all hoping he can find the level [he was at with Deportivo] again. He's impressed me very much, with his finishing and the way he moves around the pitch.

"He's perfect for the way we play - with a target man. But we need to get him back to the right level physically.


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