Davide Zappacosta joined AS Roma this week but officially, only until January. While the Giallorossi fully expect to take up their option to extend the deal to the full season, this structure was apparently done at Chelsea’s behest, just in case we needed some legs at the halfway point of the season (due to injuries or form) and we continue to be transfer-banned.
AS Roma “team manager” Morgan De Sanctis confirmed this wrinkle in the arrangement in a press conference yesterday.
“Zappacosta’s on loan for six months, with an automatic renewal until June 2020 if exceptional conditions with relation to Chelsea’s transfer ban don’t arrive. These conditions are a precaution on Chelsea’s part, since they cannot sign any new players.
“He’s an important player and therefore we accepted these precautions which, however, aren’t particularly significant. The player will stay here for a year and prove his worth. After that, considerations will be made in June 2020.”
-Morgan De Sanctis; source: Football Italia
Those words sure make it sound like Zappacosta may have played his final game for Chelsea, even if there is a tiny chance we recall him in January. The player’s own farewell post on Twitter does not dissuade that notion either, as he thanks the club for “the honor of being part of the family”.
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
So, the 27-year-old right wing-back returns to Italy, where he’ll hope to resume his upwards trajectory that got him the Chelsea move two years ago in the first place. But he credits the Blues for helping him mature as a person and as a player, just in time for the prime years of his playing career.
“I am very happy to be here after a difficult year, as starting again from such an important club is very exciting. I can’t wait to work with my new teammates.”
“I’ve grown a great deal over the last two years at Chelsea, as it really helped form my character. I arrived in a different environment, with a new language and culture. It was not easy, but nonetheless a very positive experience that helped me to grow as a man and a player.”
-Davide Zappacosta; source: Football Italia
Zappacosta did extend his contract by twelve months with Chelsea as well before leaving, which should ensure that Roma (or whoever else) pay an actual transfer fee next summer for Zappacosta’s services. Unless he does terribly. (Or all of Chelsea’s right backs do terribly?)
So, for that reason, and all others, best of luck, Davide!