West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admits stuttering striker Simone Zaza needs time to settle.
The Italy international, signed on loan from Juventus with a view to a permanent club-record £24million switch next year, has yet to open his goal account for the Hammers.
He has struggled so much that reports in Italy have claimed West Ham could cancel his loan deal and send him back to Turin.
But Bilic insists Zaza, famed for skying his penalty after a stuttered run-up against Germany at Euro 2016, will come good and compared his slow start in England to that of Arsenal great Dennis Bergkamp.
“He is definitely a good player who came from a big club to a new country,” said Bilic.
“New players need time. If we go back and think about Bergkamp, who needed – I don’t know – a year?
“The problem now is, and it is quite common with even the best players from abroad, they need time.
“Plus he wasn’t a regular at Juventus and didn’t have match fitness. It takes time sometimes, and unfortunately we don’t have that time.”
Zaza’s struggles have mirrored those of his new club, who have lost five of their six Premier League matches so far to lie in the relegation zone.
Events off the field have also been in the spotlight after Bilic allowed his players to go out on the town after their 3-0 defeat by Southampton last weekend.
The club will launch an investigation into reports striker Andy Carroll and goalkeeper Darren Randolph were still out drinking the following day.
But Bilic’s immediate concern is turning their season around, starting with Saturday’s visit of Middlesbrough.
“I am concerned. It’s a very bad start,” he added.
“It’s not only about football then. If it’s like that then people start talking about non-football things that are happening.
“It’s not only that. We are talking about the last five Premier League games, and it’s simply not the way we expected it to be.
“It’s definitely no good and that’s why the only thing we are thinking about is the game on Saturday against Middlesbrough.”