Report: Chelsea Defender Davide Zappacosta Targeted by Lazio

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 30, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Davide Zappacosta of Chelsea during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and PAOK at Stamford Bridge on November 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea defender Davide Zappacosta has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Serie A side Lazio.

According to Il Tempo (h/t Tom Coast at Sport Witness), Lazio are contemplating a move for the 26-year-old and may need to sign a right-back if they lose either Martin Caceres or Dusan Basta in January.

Zappacosta has struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge this season. While he's been a regular in the UEFA Europa League, he's managed only six minutes in the Premier League, per WhoScored.com.

The Italian has been a substitute in every single Chelsea league match this season but has only come on once, making him the Premier League's biggest bench-warmer, according to David Dubas-Fisher at Football.London.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Davide Zappacosta of Chelsea controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and Vidi FC at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Zappacosta said at the start of the season he would consider his future if were not playing regularly, per Corriere dello Sport (h/t ESPN).

"I want to try to give the coach food for thought, also because my objective is to remain in the reckoning for Italy. Inter sought me in the summer, but I am happy here. If I were not to play much, though, I'd think about [leaving]. Nobody likes being on the bench."

Zappacosta joined Chelsea from Torino in 2017 but has been used as a back-up option throughout his time at Stamford Bridge. He is behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the pecking order, and it looks as though he'll mainly be used in the cup competitions this season. 

Azpilicueta has not been at his best this season, but it's still unlikely that Sarri will drop him in favour of Zappacosta. Sarri is known for his reluctance to rotate, and the Italian also sees the Spaniard as his vice-captain:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Sarri confirms Cahill is Chelsea captain: "As we have seen in the last two matches. The captain is Cahill, if he is not playing it is Azpilicueta." #CFC

Zappacosta may well be considering his future with the January transfer window on the horizon. The full-back may be tempted to leave in search of regular football and a return to his homeland is likely to appeal.