Walter Mazzarri says he is treating M’Baye Niang “as if he were my son” and believes there is more to come from the AC Milan loanee after his impressive home debut in the 2-1 victory over Burnley.

The French Under-21 international set up the Hornets’ opening goal for Troy Deeney with a fine cross and then put his side 2-0 up shortly before the interval with a superb deft header after connecting with a Jose Holebas delivery.

There were other occasions when the 22-year-old and his skipper showed they have already developed an understanding, while Niang was also able to showcase his individual flair and Mazzarri believes his performances can improve when the new signing gets to peak condition.

“Niang did very well against Arsenal as well,” the Hornets boss said of a player whose attitiude has been previously questioned despite his undoubted promise. “Because he’s a player who didn’t play very much with Milan this season, he still needs to get the perfect condition I want.

“I’m speaking with him every day. I treat him as if he were my son. I’m also asking for suggestions and I think he listens to me as well.

“A player with his qualities, if he has made mistakes in the past the important thing is doesn’t do them anymore and keeps following my suggestions.”

Although Mauro Zarate didn’t having quite the same eye-catching effect as Niang, the Argentine also played well on his debut, linking play with good understanding and awareness as well as demonstrating his quality on the ball and Mazzarri was also pleased with his contribution.

He said: “With regard to Mauro Zarate, I’m very happy with him as well because also with Fiorentina he didn’t play as much and he did very well in a game that was very high intensity, so he had a very good 60, 70 minutes.”