Davide Zappacosta set to join AS Roma

Davide Zappacosta set to join AS Roma

Subject to a medical, the Italian will return to his native country on a season-long loan.

Nathaniel Kay

Davide Zappacosta appears to be the next experienced defender out of the door at Stamford Bridge with A.S Roma spying out his signature. 

He joins Gary Cahill and David Luiz to be left out by Frank Lampard as the Chelsea manager begins to reassemble his rear-guard.

Zappacosta is yet to feature for Lampard this term having started just 11 games under Maurizio Sarri in the previous campaign.

Chelsea career

Antonio Conte acquired his fellow countryman on deadline day in 2017, joining on a four-year deal from Torino

The pair had already crossed paths during Conte's reign as the national side's head coach, putting Zappacosta in favour during his maiden spell in London.

In his 35 appearances, the versatile defender earned an FA Cup winners medal but was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win against Manchester United. 

Sarri's arrival in 2018/19 meant a lengthy spell on the side-lines for him, restricted to mainly featuring in the Europa League. Yet, for his contribution, he gained another item of silverware as the Blues went on to beat Arsenal in the all English final. 

Lampard did play the 27-year-old in five of his pre-season fixtures but felt he was surplus to requirements as he aims to extend his policy in playing youth.

Right for Roma?

Having spent 17 years involved in Italian football, Zappacosta should slot comfortably back into the rhythm of Seria A.

Although he will be meeting many of his teammates for the first time, his is not alone in getting used to a new system; Paulo Fonseca was appointed as Roma's manager less than two months ago following the sacking of former Blues boss, Claudio Ranieri. 

'I Giallorossi' finished sixth last season, having been knocked out in the Champions League round of 16 and reaching the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

In the league, they conceded 48 goals, the most out any inside the top eight, hence the addition of Zappacosta to the defence.

And his position could prove priceless; Alessandro Florenzi is the only recognised right-back and Zappacosta would act as decent cover- Florenzi is the club captain so would take precedence in the important fixtures.

However, his flexibility in a number of spots across the back four may see him be deployed more regularly, already tried and tested at left-back, centre-back and wing-back during his Chelsea days. 

What this means for Blues backline

Defensively, Lampard's squad look shaky and susceptible to shipping goals. Therefore, the decision to let three of his senior squad members go could seriously backfire.

In terms of right-back, Cesar Azpilicueta acts as the first choice but his performances have been less than impressive thus far. 

There is a cry to move him into centre-back, a role he excelled at as part of back-three under Conte and allow Reece James his moment in the spotlight.

However, James won't be emerging for a while, having suffered an ankle injury on England duty in the summer, with his return likely to be in September.