Davide Zappacosta joined AS Roma in the summer, but despite a rather indifferent two seasons at Stamford Bridge, the move wasn’t even a full-season loan, let alone a permanent transfer.
The apparent thinking at the time was that Zappacosta could serve as potential cover should Reece James either not recover from his ankle surgery, or prove to be not as good as advertised. Fortunately, neither of those scenarios have come to pass, with the 19-year-old showing plenty of reasons to believe that he is our long-term solution at right back going forward.
And that’s a good thing in many ways, including for the fact that the contingency plan tore his ACL in October. Combined with a calf injury, Zappacosta has thus played just 12 minutes so far for the Giallorossi. Even the most optimistic prognoses only have him returning in March, but it’s much more likely that he’ll essentially miss the rest of the season.
Standard procedure in these sorts of cases would’ve been for the player to return to Chelsea, but Zappacosta stayed in Italy. Now, it would appear that the 27-year-old will finish out the season in Rome as well.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Zappacosta will finish his recovery in the Italian capital, instead of moving back to the English one. While the report doesn’t explicitly talk about a loan extension, that’s the only way their story makes any sense. Plus, even back in the summer, the Roma leadership were already strongly hinting at Zappacosta’s loan being, in essence, for the whole season, even if technically it was just for an initial six months at first. Zappacosta’s farewell post on Instagram sounded quite final as well.
As to what actually happens after the season, we’ll just have to wait and see. His Chelsea contract will have two more years to run, and we’ll probably hope to recover some of the €25m or so that we dropped on him in 2017. But first, let’s hope he recovers quickly and fully. Knee injuries can be a nasty things to deal with.