It’s safe to say Davide Zappacosta might just be the most unlucky person at AS Roma, next to the man who takes care of AS Roma’s official Twitter account after a rough match. After a long (and I mean really LONG) absence, Davide is finally back and ready to rumble.
First, let’s go back to September 2019: Zappacosta had arrived from Chelsea on a six-month-loan and looked set to start his first official game for Roma—in the derby against Lazio of all fixtures. But Lady Luck suddenly went AWOL, a calf injury reared its ugly head and laughed in the face of Davide, who would give forfeit for the derby.
Ok, not everything’s lost, the house ain’t burning down. Davide hoped to be back in 3-4 weeks time to win back his starting spot on the team. There was plenty of time left this season. Overall, the club was satisfied with Zappacosta and had an option to prolong his contract for another six months through June.
October 2019: Well, someone just burned down the house. Davide ruptures his anterior cruciate ligament. Ah, the famous ACL. Another ACL injury in Roma’s hospital, which now has the size of New York and Boston combined and probably as many bunk beds too. This was horrible news, for both Roma and Davide. It happened during training and apparently there was no contact whatsoever with another player. Just plain bad luck I guess.
So what was Davide’s situation back then? Well, I bet he wasn’t happy at all. Just tore his ACL, he would go back to Chelsea in January 2020 after only 12 minutes (one single appearance) in a Roma jersey. No way the Giallorossi would extend his loan. Davide would start his rehab back in Chelsea, standard procedure for a serious injury with a loanee.
Surprisingly, AS Roma did extend the loan and let Davide recover in Rome and not London. Although the road to recovery was long and hard, I can understand the risk Roma took. He was only 27-years-old and a former Italian international. A stud at Torino and Chelsea bought him for €28 million, that’s no spare change. Good Italian RB’s with international experience don’t grow on trees.
For years now Roma long for a renowned right back who can make that position his own and claim that place for 3-4 consecutive seasons. A new Cassetti. Maicon. Cafu. Anyone. A tried and tested, reliable right back, no (albeit more than decent) stopgap solution like Florenzi.
Davide Zappacosta could have been our man. A smart deal brought him to Rome. If he succeeded, he would quickly become 100% Roma's property, giving the Giallorossi their man at right back. How things have changed since August.
Just before the AC Milan clash, Saturday morning, Davide suffered a new injury during training. No rest for the wicked. After the injury scare, it was back to the infirmary for Davide. And while the result wasn’t as harsh as the one in October (Fonseca already declared he was fit by the evening), you have to wonder about the mental state of Zappacosta. Enough is enough. How much can a man take?
Half an hour! A Goddamn miracle if your name is Davide Zappacosta. But Milan would truly be his ultimate comeback, his first official start for Roma. The one that got away back in September. Ten months after he signed with us. TEN MONTHS. Yes, that’s how long we already had to miss Davide.
Imagine having to miss something you live and die for for ten months, setback after setback. The feeling of being useless to your employer all this time, although you work hard each and every day. It’s a huge burden—I’m baffled I even found a picture in our archive in which Davide f*ckin smiles!
On top of that, will Roma take the ultimate gamble and sign its number 2 outright? Or will he return to Chelsea and fear for another loan/sale this summer? More than ever, Davide’s future looks uncertain.
Whether you like him or not, Davide fully deserved his chance in Milan. Just like the one against Lazio in September 2019. And all those in between. He had to wait long enough.
Patience is a virtue. Davide can tell.