28 year old Italian right-back Davide Zappacosta has today joined Serie A side Genoa on a season long loan deal. Genoa were previously linked with Tottenham left-back Danny Rose, however have stalled on a deal due to his wage demands. The Italian side finished 17th in Serie A last season, narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day by 4 points. Genoa will hope the acquisition of Zappacosta, a player who has played in Serie A with 3 different clubs, provides experience and maturity to a side hoping to remain in Serie A for at least another season.
For many Chelsea fans, the signing of Zappacosta was symbolic of fellow Italian Antonio Conte’s time at Stamford Bridge. A pacy and athletic full-back, with a skilled crossing technique, he joined from Torino on deadline day of the summer 2017 window, for €28m. The signing of Zappacosta was intended to provide cover and competition for Victor Moses. The Nigerian played 40 games in all competitions in 2016/17, playing RWB in Conte’s 3-4-3, as Chelsea won the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final. Zappacosta played 35 games in all competitions in his first season as Chelsea finished 5th, scoring twice; his first of which was a memorable long range strike against Qarabag in the Champions League. The following season, Zappacosta only played 17 games under new manager Maurizio Sarri; his finest moment being a goal line clearance in the Europa League semi final v Eintracht Frankfurt.
Zappacosta found himself surplus to requirements in the summer of 2019, with Reece James returning from Wigan, and the Italian returned home on a season-long loan to Roma. However, an ACL injury suffered in October limited his game time to just 446 minutes for the season. Zappacosta will now hope to get his career back on track with regular, first-team football, in a RB or RWB role. With Chelsea holding Reece James in such high regard, it is very unlikely Zappacosta will remain with the club beyond next summer. His departure represents a need to trim the squad size and wage bill before the transfer window shuts.