Halfway through preseason, Chelsea’s first-team squad is starting to take shape. One of the questions remaining is who and how many of the extra non-homegrown players will leave — we have 19*, can’t register more than 17 (Pulisic can be registered as U21 in the Premier League but counts as non-HG in the Champions League). Another, related question is how many Academy players will get to stay with the team.
One potential solution could provide a solid partial answer to both questions. As per the Evening Standard, Chelsea are “considering” sending Davide Zappacosta on loan, which would not only unload some of the deadest of deadwoods in the team, but would give Reece James an obvious spot in the squad as Cesar Azpilicueta’s backup. James is currently recovering from ankle surgery but isn’t expected to miss too much time. Considering how little Zappacosta has played and how little effect he’s had when he has in the last two years, this move would be a win-win-win for all involved.
Unfortunately, other than vague Lazio rumblings that died down quickly, Zappacosta has barely featured in the rumor mill. Perhaps with Chelsea putting out this feeler, some team will respond with interest and we can put this plan into action.
*the 19 non-homegrown players are: Alonso, Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Batshuayi, Caballero, David Luiz, Emerson, Giroud, Jorginho, Kanté, Kenedy, Kovacic, Pedro, Pulisic, Rüdiger, Willian, Zappacosta, Zouma