Davide Zappacosta has joined AS Roma on a season-long loan and signed a new 12-month contract extension with Chelsea staying until 2022.
The Italian defender joined the Blues in 2017 under Antonio Conte and made 52 appearances winning the Europa League and FA Cup in the process.
Zappacosta scored a remarkable goal on his Stamford Bridge debut against Qarabag in the Champions League before scoring his second for Chelsea against Stoke City.
The 27-year-old Italy international joins Roma who finished sixth last season in Serie A. They enjoyed a run in the Champions League before getting kncoked out in the last 16.
‘Excited to get going’
In an interview with the Official AS Roma Website, Zappacosta claimed to be looking forward to achieving big things with the Yellow and Red.
“I want to achieve big things with Roma, starting now,” he said. “Serie A is a difficult league so we have to take things game by game, but if we do that we can perform well.
“I trained with the team for the first time today and I feel good. We trained at high intensity and it was more or less the same level of intensity at Chelsea.
“I feel in good shape physically. I haven’t played for a long time, so I need to get that march sharpness back, but physically I feel good and I’m sure that with the high-intensity sessions the coach is putting us through, I’ll have no trouble getting back into peak condition as soon as possible.”
‘Rudiger and Emerson helped me choose Roma’
Chelsea signed both Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri from Roma in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The pair have proven to be a sturdy addition to the Blues’ defence with 126 appearances between them.
Zappacosta said that his Chelsea teammates were significant factors in his deal to Roma claiming they insisted he would enjoy his time at a unique club.
“I spoke with Emerson and Rudiger,” he said. “Both of them told me that this is a unique club with fans that drive you on in every game.
“They told me I’d enjoy myself here because there’s a fantastic group of players. I’m happy because I saw what they were talking about straight away.”
Zappacosta gave Chelsea fans this message on social media confirming his departure.
It's been a big honour to be part of the Chelsea Family. I wish all the very best to this incredible club. Thanks for everything! pic.twitter.com/4A9aSv3FAH— Davide Zappacosta (@DZappacosta) August 22, 2019
Chelsea career in numbers
Zappacosta joined Chelsea in 2017 on deadline day for a reported £23million from Torino and made 26 appearances in the Premier League with one goal and four clean sheets.
The Italian had a 65%-win ratio conceding 15 goals. He averaged one tackle a game with a 42% success rate as well as nine interceptions and 24 clearances.
In his debut season, he played an integral role in winning the FA Cup. Zappacosta started in the opening rounds of the FA Cup against the likes of Newcastle, Norwich and Hull City.
The following season the 27-year-old featured in all but five of Chelsea’s Europa League run as the Blues lifted the trophy in Baku having beaten Arsenal in a 4-1 demolition.