This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are willing to allow Davide Zappacosta leave the club this summer as they expect Reece James to become the second-choice right-back for the upcoming season.
The report claims the Blues have turned down several offers from Premier League clubs for James, and Frank Lampard is convinced the 19-year-old has what it takes to be Cesar Azpilicueta’s understudy.
However, as the full-back recovers from surgery, Chelsea are waiting to see how he progresses before giving the green light to Zappacosta to return to Italy this summer. As Serie A clubs have until next month to sign players, the Blues are not under significant pressure to sell the 27-year-old before the close of the transfer window in the UK.
The Telegraph add that once James’ fitness is established, Zappacosta will be allowed to make either a loan or permanent exit from Stamford Bridge.
When Lampard took over the reins from Maurizio Sarri, the desire to finally get the best out of the club’s talented academy was huge. Pre-season has already shown that the Blues legend is willing to give young players a chance, and now the club’s reported decision on Zappacosta simply reinforces that new-found approach in west London.
Since arriving from Torino two years ago, Zappacosta failed to shine under either Antonio Conte or Sarri. The Italy international managed just 17 appearances across all competitions last season and has never really looked like establishing himself as a regular first-team starter for the club.
James on the other hand is coming off a hugely impressive loan spell at Wigan last season, and would no doubt have seen his progress stunted by having to battle Zappacosta for the chance to be Chelsea’s back-up option at right-back. But with the Italian likely to be out of the way, James can be the latest academy product to prove his worth at Stamford Bridge.