For the past one and a half seasons, Chelsea have not properly addressed the issue of depth at left wing-back, which resulted, at various times, in forwards (Pedro, Kenedy), right backs (Moses, Zappacosta), and even a centre back (Azpilicueta) trying their best to back up first-choice Marcos Alonso. But at long last, the problem has been solved, with the signing of Brazilian-Italian defender Emerson Palmieri from Roma, who completed a £17.5m transfer to Chelsea today, signing a 4.5-year deal.
Emerson started his professional career at Brazilian Serie A club Santos in 2011, where he had spent his years as a youth prospect as well. His performances caught the eyes of Italian Serie A club Palermo in 2013, who acquired him on a loan-to-buy option for the 2014-15 season.
Palermo passed on their option as Emerson made fewer than 10 appearances, but in a similar arrangement, Roma were next to take a chance on him. Despite making similarly few appearances in 2015-16, Roma chose to exercise their option, perhaps motivated by the low included fee (just €2m). Their faith was repaid by a breakout season in 2016-17, which unfortunately ended with an ACL rupture in May.
Emerson recovered by November, but has only played 105 minutes of first-team football since, with Manchester City cast-off Aleksandar Kolarov entrenched in his old spot. Now, Emerson only finds himself in a battle to try to oust the most prolific goal-scoring defender in the Premier League instead.
Aged just 23, the Brazilian youth international still has many years to improve and hit his peak.
Benvenuto, Emerson! Let’s win some things.