Is Duvan Zapata an Arsenal fan? 5 things you don’t know about the Newcastle target

by | Jan 18, 2022 18:41

As cash-rich Premier League outfit Newcastle United target Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata, Oli Coates takes a closer look at the Colombia international’s life both on and off the pitch. 

It’s believed that Atalanta rejected an offer of around €30m for Duvan Zapata this week, as the newly-rich Newcastle United bid to throw their weight around amid the threat of relegation. Given the wealth of his suitors, there’s every chance Zapata will be the subject of another bid before the end of the January transfer window. 

If they are successful in landing Zapata, Newcastle will be the proud owners of two of the four most expensive strikers aged over 30 in history. The Premier League club have already signed Chris Wood for €30m this month, making the New Zealander the third most expensive striker the wrong side of 30, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Gabriel Batistuta. 

Wood becomes third most expensive over 30 striker after Ronaldo and Batistuta

Zapata would certainly be in esteemed company should he join that trio, although Atalanta fans will hope he stays put in Bergamo until the end of the season at the very least. Here are five things you may not know about the 30-year-old Colombia international. 

Far more prolific for La Dea

Zapata realised his goalscoring ability when he arrived at Atalanta, scoring 65 times in 118 Serie A appearances for La Dea. That’s an average of a goal every 1.8 games in the league, although it’s some way short of his impressive haul of 23 in 37 during 2018-19. That average of a goal every 1.6 matches was during the campaign the Colombian was on loan at Atalanta from Napoli, with Zapata netting 78 times in 152 appearances across all competitions for the Nerazzurri to date. That’s an average of a goal every 1.9 games, which is significantly better than the 75 goals he managed in 250 games prior to his move to Bergamo – an average of 3.3. That takes his career haul to 153 goals in 412 games, at an average of a goal every 2.7 matches. 

Scorer of first Atalanta winner at Juventus since Caniggia

Atalanta may have won back-to-back games against the Old Lady, but La Dea’s pickings against the Bianconeri have been far slimmer over the last two decades. Indeed, the Nerazzurri went 32 Serie A matches against Juve without a win before last season, a run that stretched back to February 2001. You had to go back more than a decade to find Atalanta’s previous away win against the Turin giants, when Claudio Caniggia scored the only goal of the game at the Stadio Comunale in October 1989. It was a historic moment, therefore, when Zapata scored the winner in La Dei’s 1-0 triumph at the Allianz Stadium in late November. 

Footballing family

Zapata’s cousin is fellow Colombian Cristian Zapata, who won 58 caps for his country between 2007 and 2019, with several coming alongside his relative. Cristian spent six years in Serie A with Udinese between 2005 and 2011, before departing for La Liga outfit Villarreal. He then returned to Italy with Milan, representing the Rossoneri for seven season before moving to Genoa. The 35-year-old is now in the twilight of his career at Argentine outfit San Lorenzo. 

All of the Ds

Speaking of family, you may not know that Zapata is married with two children. His wife’s name is Diana, while his daughter is called Dantzel and his son Dayton, rounding off a quartet of names beginning with the letter D. And on the subject of names, Zapata has had a few nicknames during his career, but there’s one in particular, Il Toro, he doesn’t like. Translating to English as the Bull, he has said: “It’s a nickname that I can’t quite accept, but I know that for all the Colombian people I am ‘The Bull’. I swallow it and accept it.” That’s something to keep in mind should you ever bump into him on the streets of Bergamo, Newcastle, or elsewhere. 

A self-confessed Arsenal fan

Last year, Zapata opened the door to a move to the Premier League by admitting he was a boyhood Arsenal fan. He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “As a boy in Colombia, the Premier League was shown the most. I supported Arsenal and woke up early on the weekend to watch their games on TV.” It remains to be seen whether he will turn out against the Gunners when they visit Newcastle on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season. 

@olicoates

Duvan Zapata Bram Nuytinck

1 Comment

  1. Roger Rickards

    Newcastle United will sign him to save their season. He would be a huge fan favourite like Shearer.

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