Emerson Palmieri didn’t quite manage more minutes for his national team (~500) than he did for Chelsea this season (~750), but of course he would prefer the two numbers to not be close at all. In fact, while he featured in 7 of 11 games for Italy during the season, he collected just 15 appearances for Chelsea, from 59 games.
The 26-year-old left back has not sugarcoated the bleakness of that reality whenever he’s been asked about it, and he’s kept it real yet again when talking to the media ahead of Italy’s game against Turkey on Friday, which will kick off Euro 2020.
Still, there are positives that can be found in every situation, and that is also precisely what Emerson’s been doing.
“I had a season where things didn’t exactly happen as planned, but I think you have to find a silver lining in the middle of this – it was a season where I learned a lot.
“It all comes down to being happy, training seriously and then letting the coach make his choices. [...] I have a clear conscience that I give my best every day to help the team, even if it’s hard to tell from outside.”
To his credit, Emerson’s remained an utmost professional, by all accounts, even as it had become quite apparent that the best thing for all involved would be to go our own ways. But of course that’s not necessarily easy in football, especially during a pandemic.
“[Italy head coach Mancini] wants to see me doing well, so he said [back in October] that perhaps it would be best for me if I headed to another ambitious team where I could play as much as possible and raise my game again.
“He expressed this wish, but we know that sometimes in football, it depends on other things, a number of factors. It’s not only up to me. All I can promise, whenever I’m with the national team, is to run and play to the last drop of sweat.”
-Emerson; source: Telegraph
Emerson has one year left on his contract, and has been linked with some of the usual suspects, including Inter Milan and Napoli, though a resolution is not expected anytime soon.