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How Zappacosta can help Chelsea

Adam Bate (Sky Sports) 5 Sep 2017
Davide Zappacosta

What will the signing from Torino add to Antonio Conte's side? Sky Sports' Adam Bate takes a closer look

Chelsea added to their defence on Deadline Day with the signing of Davide Zappacosta from Torino.

Sky’s Adam Bate looks at the potential impact of the 25-year-old Italian at Stamford Bridge.

Zappacosta was used by Torino in a wing-back role last season and, having been called up by Antonio Conte for Italy towards the end of the previous campaign, he has since established himself there in Gian Piero Ventura's national squad too.

Alvaro Morata's goal against Everton, a header from Cesar Azpilicueta's right-wing cross, was the trademark finish of a player who scored seven headed goals in La Liga last season.

It also highlighted the sort of service that the striker requires to maximise his effectiveness.

Alvaro Morata, Chelsea
Alvaro Morata has scored two headers in his first three matches for Chelsea

Conte knows it makes sense for Chelsea to put greater emphasis on their crossing this season

The club ranked rock bottom for cross completion in the Premier League last season with crosses finding their target only 15.9 per cent of the time.

The signing of Morata will help to change that statistic. He is the only player to score with two headers so far this season, already matching Diego Costa's tally of headed goals last season just three games into the campaign.

But Zappacosta's delivery will also be a factor. He ranked fifth in Serie A in terms of the number of chances created from crosses last season and provided more assists from crosses than any other defender in Italy.

Impressive statistics that help to explain precisely what Conte will expect.

Cross completion Premier League 2016/17

Team Rank Crosses completed %
Swansea City 1 24.4%
Manchester United  2 24.3%
Tottenham Hotspur 19 16.3%
Chelsea 20 15.9%

Adam Bate writes for Sky

See: Italian journalists reveal Zappacosta’s qualities

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