Chelsea right back Davide Zappacosta has left the club after four years on the books, the last two of which he had spent out on loan, and has signed with Serie A side Atalanta for the third time in his career. He joins former Loan Army warrior Mario Pašalić as the second ex-Chelsea man in Bergamo.
La Dea are reportedly paying €10m to bring back the 29-year-old defender, who last played for them back in 2014-15, beating out Fiorentina among others for his signature. That’s about a third of what Chelsea paid FC Torino in 2017, but considering the current state of the market, Zappacosta’s expiring contract, and his Chelsea squad status, that’s not a bad deal for us.
Zappacosta will be wearing the No. 77 shirt at Atalanta after signing a four-year deal.
Despite his best efforts, Zappacosta was never quite able to establish himself at Chelsea, though he played a key role in the Blues winning two trophies in his first two years at the club, the 2018 FA Cup and the 2019 Europa League (13 of his 34 starts for Chelsea came in those two competitions).
Goodbye #ChelseaFC what an amazing journey! One FA Cup, one UEFA Cup, wearing this colours gives you a special emotion! Thank you for everything and best of luck for the future. Zap pic.twitter.com/77WAfzNvcy— Davide Zappacosta (@DZappacosta) August 24, 2021
The speedy, cross-happy full back (mostly right, but also left if needed) has also battled his fair share of injuries, including an ACL tear in 2019, just days after his arrival on loan at AS Roma. He spent last season at Genoa, and found perhaps the best form he has shown since joining Chelsea, which he has now leveraged into a new challenge. He should be a good fit for long-time Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s wing-back system.
Good luck, Davide!