Davide Zappacosta became Roma's latest signing of the summer on Wednesday, after agreeing to a loan deal with the Giallorossi.
After a busy day of medicals and contract signings, the Italy international sat down with Roma TV to discuss his switch from Chelsea.
Davide, what are your first impressions after joining Roma?
"I feel very positive. I’m pleased to be here after quite a tricky year for me. Being able to kick on again at a club like this is really exciting so I’m delighted and I can’t wait to start working with my new team-mates."
How do you think you improved during your two seasons in England?
"I think I developed a lot as a person over the past two years in England. I think I’ve become a stronger character because I had to get to grips with a different place, a different culture, a different language and a different lifestyle. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it was a very positive experience that allowed me to develop both as a person and a player."
When did you find out Roma were interested and what was your reaction?
"I’ve been aware of Roma’s interest for a while but there were a few things that needed ironing out with Chelsea so I was never completely sure that it was going to happen. When I got the call to say that I had the chance to come here I said yes straight away because it’s a massive opportunity. I want to give all I have for this club, starting tomorrow."
How important was [sporting director] Gianluca Petrachi in your decision?
"He was definitely important because I know him from our time at Torino. I know what kind of person he is: I know how much he cares and how passionate he is. That was definitely something that influenced my decision but regardless of that, Roma is a big club with good prospects.
"There are lots of young players here and everything is in place to be successful so there was no doubt in my mind over my final decision."
You’ve had a busy few hours here, but have you been able to speak to Paulo Fonseca yet?
"Yes, it’s been a busy time with the medical and other stuff but I had a 10 minute chat with the boss before lunch and I was also able to meet my new team-mates. I’ve heard great things about him and I can’t wait to get started. Lots of people have told me good things about him. I’ve heard that he works very hard, has clear ideas and is a great motivator, so I can’t wait to get started."
Fonseca usually plays with the full-backs pushed high up the field. Do you think that will suit your game well?
"Yes, I think it will suit me well if we play with high full-backs but defending is still an important part of the role, especially in a back four. It could be good for me, though, because I’m used to getting forward. It’s something that will allow me to show the best of my game."
There are plenty of Italian players at Roma now. Could that be an advantage for you ahead of the Euros?
"Yes, there are several Italian players at Roma and I think that’s a good thing for Italian football and for Roma because this is an Italian club and it’s nice when the spine is made up of young, Italian lads. With the Euros coming up, I think it’s good that more and more young players can start to express themselves at such big clubs."
You played at the Olimpico with Chelsea two years ago and many times before that. What do you make of the stadium and the Roma fans?
"Yes, I played against Roma with Chelsea. Unfortunately they weren’t great matches from a Chelsea perspective. I remember the Roma fans being so loud at Stamford Bridge that they completely drowned out the home fans. I was really impressed by the fans. The atmosphere at the Olimpico was crazy. It must be amazing to play for fans like that."
If we remember rightly, you got your first Serie A TIM goal against Genoa and your first goal for Torino was against Genoa too. Well, it’s Genoa first up on Sunday!
"That’s right, my first goals for both Atalanta and Torino were against Genoa. I hope that’s a good omen for the season opener. It would be a dream come true to kick off with a goal but I think the most important thing is to start well as a team and achieve our objective of getting the three points."
Finally, do you have a message you’d like to send to the fans?
"I just want to promise the fans that from day one - so from now - I’ll leave everything on the pitch in every training session and match. I can’t wait to get going again because I didn’t play last year so I’ll never come up short in terms of my effort and my desire to honour the shirt."
(Photo AS Roma)