Why Crystal Palace should sign Davide Zappacosta on loan in January
Zappacosta, 26, has played just two times this season as Sarri has preferred Cesar Azpilicueta over the Italy international.
Zappacosta joined Chelsea from Torino for £27m last summer but only made 12 Premier League starts for former manager Antonio Conte. The 26-year-old has three years left on his current contract at Stamford Bridge which runs until 2021, but his lack of playing time since arriving in England leaves his Chelsea career in jeopardy.
Should Zappacosta decide to leave Chelsea in January, Crystal Palace must make a move for the player. Palace have not had an ideal start to the Premier League season, with injuries and poor form of top players hindering the club’s progress. Roy Hodgson saved Palace from relegation last season and remains the perfect man to guide the club to a top-half finish this campaign.
But Hodgson hasn’t been able to deliver positive results on a consistent basis so far despite bringing in fresh faces during the summer transfer window. Hodgson may have to take another dip in the transfer market to bolster his squad ahead of what will hopefully be a positive second half of the campaign.
One area that needs to be addressed is the full-back position. Academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made the right-back position his own with a series of impressive displays. Joel Ward is Wan-Bissaka’s deputy at right-back but he has been shaky and unconvincing. And apart from Wan-Bissaka and Ward, Hodgson has very little cover in the right-back area.
Keeping that in mind, Hodgson must target Zappacosta to solve the right-back conundrum. The 26-year-old is a pacy, dynamic and agile player who can play on both sides of the defence. A full Italian international, he is an established and experienced player who will be an upgrade on Ward. He would also be a mentor for the upcoming Wan-Bissaka.
Palace might not be in a bad situation but Hodgson’s team has lacked zeal at times this season and an addition like Zappacosta on loan until the end of the season could help them. Palace are short of options at the right-back position and if an injury was to befell the club, Hodgson would seriously be in trouble.
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The Eagles are heavily reliant on their full-backs under Hodgson’s tutelage and to have a fine addition like Zappacosta would be a move in the right direction.