The lowdown: Career so far
Signed from Argentinian outfit Estudiantes by Napoli in 2013, Zapata has enjoyed a long and fruitful spell in Serie A, directly contributing to 150 goals in 257 outings whilst representing Udinese, Sampdoria and current club Atalanta.
The 31-year-old Colombia international has previously been a top target for West Ham United and perennially linked with a move to the Premier League, as a January deadline day move to the Hammers failed to materialise.
Now, the eccentric hitman is seemingly on the radar at St James’ Park after the North East club reportedly ended their tilt at pulling off deals for Moussa Diaby and Alexander Isak…
The latest: Magpies weighing up offer
It’s claimed that Eddie Howe is ‘still keen to sign a forward and a wide attacker’ during the ongoing window and Zapata could be an option for just £20million now, after being quoted an £8m loan fee plus £35m to make it permanent back in January.
The report also states that Chelsea youngster Armanda Broja ‘remains a leading target’, but Zapata, dubbed a ‘freight train of a striker’ by football commentator Matteo Bonetti, is very much in the mix.
The verdict: Make it happen
After the drawn-out pursuit of Hugo Ekitike was finally brought to an unsuccessful conclusion, moving for Zapata would be a sensible decision from the St James’ Park hierarchy ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Last season, the powerful Colombian scored 13 times and registered seven assists in 32 appearances across all competitions in Italy, earning a 6.97 Sofascore rating whilst winning 4.5 duels, successfully completing 1.2 dribbles and making 1.6 key passes per game in Serie A in the process.
Sharing similar stylistic traits with an illustrious group including Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and even Ballon d’Or frontrunner Karim Benzema (Fbref), Zapata certainly possesses all of the attributes required to make the grade in the North East and could eventually prove to be a genuine handful for even the elite opposition defenders across the pantheon of the Premier League.
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