According to the Telegraph, one of the first tasks for new technical advisor Petr Cech and new manager (Frank Lampard) will be to “address” the fate of two fullbacks, Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso.
Both are reportedly open to leaving Stamford Bridge for other opportunities this summer.
Zappacosta has been a backup at right and left back since his arrival in summer 2017 from Italian Serie A club Torino FC. But he’s not managed to establish himself beyond that at all, with playing time scarce, especially during Sarri’s first (and only) season at Chelsea. Zappacosta has been linked with Lazio in the past, though recent rumors have been rather quiet.
As for Alonso, he was practically undroppable after Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 revolution began in September 2016, but had lost that status in the second-half of last season with Emerson more and more often preferred. Alonso’s goal-threat is incomparable for a left back, but he had not been as effective in a deeper role under Sarri. He could be yet another player returning to his home country, although it seems that Atlético Madrid are no longer as keen on him as they were before.
The decision to let either of them go however might not be as straightforward as some would expect. Zappacosta’s potential replacement, Reece James will miss the entire pre-season and the start of the season proper due to an ankle injury. And while Alonso might have a ready-made replacement in young Jay Dasilva, the Chelsea academy youngster’s own future is in limbo as well. Alonso’s new long-term contract makes him not an easy asset to shift either, regardless of how happy or unhappy he may be. And that’s before we even consider that there’s a transfer ban hanging over the whole club.
With these and other similar decision aplenty to make (Danny Drinkwater, anyone?), it’s all the more imperative to get Cech up and running quickly and get the new head coach signed as well.