Chelsea could finally be closing in on a transfer deadline day as Sky Sports Italy say that the Blues have agreed a £23 million fee with Torino for David Zappacosta. He is set to sign a contract worth around £45,000 per week.
A 25-year-old right-back, Zappacosta is expected to be brought in to compete with Victor Moses. Whilst clearly not first choice for Antonio Conte, it was the Italian who gave him his call-up to the Italian national team for the first time and the pair worked together at that level. With such trust, an addition could be a wise move.
Zappacosta has immediately had many comparisons drawn to Marcos Alonso when he arrived last summer. Neither player was the club’s first choice target, nor were they particularly well known in the Premier League. If the Italian can live up to the achievements of the Spaniard in his debut season at Stamford Bridge he’ll have done well.
In some aspects, he is more like Victor Moses. Both players have immense pace, and having played as a wing-back for Torino, know the wing-back role well. Zappacosta, just like Moses, loves to bomb down the flank and beat players with his pace and strength before delivering a cross into the box.
At 6ft he can add a bit more height than Moses may represent, offering a threat at set pieces, but he also possesses a fine shot from distance which has been known to leave goalkeepers stranded. Where Moses looks to cut inside and have a shot from nearer the goal, Zappacosta will be content firing shots from range.
However, again like Moses, he is not particularly defensively sound. His critics have accused him of at times being too lazy to track back and rushing into tackles. That kind of attitude would not fare well in Conte’s disciplined defensive set-up, but it is an area of his game which he has been working on and improving hugely.
If Zappacosta does join the Blues on deadline day, he has all the attributes to be a success. However, it is clear that he is not the world class upgrade on Moses that Antonio Conte may have wanted at the start of the transfer window.
More Breaking News:
From Spain: Mahrez not going to Barcelona, Chelsea his likelier destination.
After claims Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez is signing for Barcelona, and has even landed at the city’s airport, the Spanish media have been rubbishing the story.
First, Catalan newspaper Sport claimed Barcelona sources had told them Mahrez isn’t a player under consideration, and the club aren’t trying to sign him from Leicester City.
Then Marca claimed the same thing, that Barcelona sources have ‘denied the possibility’ of Mahrez arriving, and stated there’s no interest in the player.
Marca say the player’s possible destination is actually Chelsea. That’s been claimed in England and France, but there still seems much confusion over Mahrez’s future.
If the Barcelona sources are correct, that rules them out. Arsenal sources have looked to ruled them out too, which leaves Chelsea and Tottenham of the clubs linked today.
Algeria’s football federation revealed on Wednesday night that Mahrez had been released from the squad to sort out transfer business.