Davide Zappacosta’s adjustment to life at Chelsea has been rocked by an emergency call-up to the Italian national team.
The right-back signed for the Blues on transfer deadline day, joining the club from Torino for around £25million.
The 25-year-old had been settling into his new life in London when the call came.
Zappacosta immediately flew to Italy to begin training with the national side ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Israel on Tuesday.
— Italy (@azzurri) September 3, 2017
The call-up came with Italy manager Giampiero Ventura dealing with a defensive crisis. Leonardo Bonucci picked up a yellow card in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Spain which means he is suspended for Tuesday’s match in Reggio Emilia in northern Italy. Meanwhile Leonardo Spinazzola suffered an injury in the loss to Spain and Giorgio Chiellini was already absent from the squad.
It could see Zappacosta thrust into the spotlight against Israel and given a chance to add to the four caps he’s collected so far – two of which came in qualification matches for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
A win for Italy on Tuesday is vital after they slipped three points behind Group G leaders Spain on Saturday.
Antonio Conte will hope Zappacosta returns from the Italy squad injury-free and available for selection when Chelsea take on Leicester next Saturday.
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Chelsea boss Conte did not want Drinkwater according to journalist
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wanted to keep Nemanja Matic – and when the player was sold, had conditions over who he wanted to replace him – and Danny Drinkwater was not it.
That’s according to Duncan Castles, who thinks that Conte is not overly keen on the midfielder Chelsea made a last gasp bid for on deadline day – and would have preferred someone who was of a higher quality.
“I think there’s no way you can describe him as an equivalent to Nemanja [Matic],” Castles said on The Transfer Window podcast.
“It’s classic Chelsea where they cash in on a player that another side wants and then they spend less on the replacement to bring in.
“He’s not the player Conte wants as a second midfielder.
“Conte’s position was that he would be happy to accept Matic being sold but he would want to get two replacements – Bakayoko which he got and a player of similar quality.
“Chelsea have allowed a key player to go to a rival where he could become a key player this season.
“Conte won’t be provided with the replacement he wants, which is what Chelsea are doing across the entirety of the team.”
Given Chelsea have four competitions to contend with and fight to retain their title this season, it makes sense Antonio Conte was desperate to get two players who could be defined as world class for each position – something that certainly has not been the case.
There has of course also been the issue surrounding Ross Barkley, who may or may not have turned Chelsea down during his medical – and the fact that the Blues could well be heading into a legal case with Diego Costa, who is refusing to rejoin the club and is in exile in Brazil.
That could well cause yet more problems for the Blues, who have Alvaro Morata, who is trying to get to grips with life in the Premier League – and also Michy Batshuayi, who seems to have tried and failed to impress manager Conte over the last season and a bit.