Duvan Zapata is a professional footballer from Colombia who plays as a centre forward. Zapata began his playing days with Colombian outfit América de Cali. After making his debut 2008, Zapata was ready for the first major move of his career. Estudiantes signed him in 2011 and the striker made an instant impact by scoring on his debut. After largely featuring in the reserve team of Estudiantes in the initial few years, Zapata’s breakthrough came in 2013. Immediately, the striker found himself as one of the transfer targets of top European clubs.
A move to Napoli came about in 2013 after several weeks of the move being dismissed as rumours. After beating all the transfer odds, Napoli were able to sign him in 2013. After scoring only less than 10 goals in each of his first two campaigns with Napoli, Zapata soon found himself going out on loan to get more first-team opportunities. A loan move to Napoli at the start of the 2015-16 Serie A campaign provided Zapata with the necessary break. He managed to come up with eight goals in his first season with Udinese, who signed him on loan for the subsequent campaign as well.
Zapata showed greater promise from playing regularly as he came up with 10 goals in 38 games. More loan spells followed for the forward, as he found it difficult to get into a Napoli team which had a number of stars in the line-up. Zapata would frequently feature in the gossip columns and football whispers for a permanent move, but he would have to wait for a little while longer.
One of the primary attributes of Zapata continues to be his pace, which manages to provide an edge over defenders when paired up alongside his impressive physicality. Zapata likes to play as the central striker and his powerful physical presence adds to the problems for defenders. As someone who is very strong with his back to goal and with pace, Zapata offers managers with the option of going with different tactics.
Duvan Zapata Transfer Rumours
- From América de Cali to Estudiantes for £800,000 in 2011
- From Estudiantes to Napoli for £6.7 million in 2013
- From Napoli to Sampdoria for £16.65 million in 2018
- From Sampdoria to Atalanta for £10.8 million in 2020
Zapata caught the attention of clubs in Europe when he made the move to Estudiantes in 2011. The transfer fee was just under £1 million and the forward hit the ground running from the second season, when he averaged a goal every other game. Following several transfer rumours linking him with a move to Napoli, the much-anticipated switch came about in 2013. However, Zapata was unable to make a major impact in his two seasons with Napoli. Many gossip columns frequently started linking Zapata with loan moves.
It was in the 2018-18 campaign, when he was on loan at Atalanta, Zapata found a sweet spot. The transfer news eventually came to featuring Zapata in an Atalanta shirt following a £ 10 million transfer.