The 19-year-old arrived at Upton Park in January as an unknown quantity for the future despite the Hammers paying a reported £6 million for his services to Brescia Calcio.
Zola told the official site, "Savio is a boy who came from a totally different league with a lower standard so had a few problems at the beginning trying to establish himself
"He was used to playing at very low rhythm, so he had time on the ball and would get two or three seconds before someone was going to challenge.
"In the Premier League it is totally different, you don't have the ball and already someone is challenging you - but he is catching up. He is only 19. He is a player that I believe is going to give satisfaction to the supporters. We need to be patient with him because he needs to adapt. He has got quality and believe me is going to be an important player."