Davide Zappacosta has today joined Atalanta on a permanent deal.

The Italian defender heads back to the club where he first played Serie A football, ending his four-year Chelsea career.

Zappacosta spent last season in his homeland on loan with Genoa and featured heavily for Il Grifone, recovering well from a serious knee injury he sustained while on loan with Roma the season prior, and going on to feature 25 times for the northern Italy side.

The right-back made a number of appearances for the Blues in pre-season but with the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James above him in the pecking order at present, Thomas Tuchel has allowed Zappacosta to move on.

The 29-year-old defender will be returning to familiar surroundings at Atalanta, having made his breakthrough in Serie A with them in 2014/15, before earning a move to Torino.

His impressive performances in Turin led to Antonio Conte signing the right-back for Chelsea in 2017, with Zappacosta netting a memorable goal against Qarabag on his full debut.

He also netted his first Premier League goal in a big home victory, over Stoke City, and he ended his first campaign with 35 appearances to his name and an FA Cup winner’s medal after we defeated Manchester United at Wembley.

Zappacosta's involvement during the 2018/19 campaign was limited to the domestic cup competitions and the Europa League, although the Italian impressed when called upon due to his ability to get forward at pace and deliver dangerous balls from wide areas.

In the Carabao Cup win over Derby County, two of our three goals came from Zappacosta crosses, and it was another of his deliveries which led to Ruben Loftus-Cheek being brought down for a penalty during the FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

Used largely off the bench in the latter stages of that season, Zappacosta came on in the second leg of our Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, adding some much-needed energy to proceedings, and again in the final against Arsenal when the scoring was complete.

The defender has 13 Italy caps to his name and now returns to Serie A to continue his career. We would like to thank Davide for his services and wish him the best of luck in the future.