At the start of 2018, promising right back Emerson was hoping to work hard and wait for his chance at Ponte Preta, in the Brazilian second division. Fast forward eleven months and the 19-year-old is a regular at Série A club Atlético Mineiro and is seeing his name linked with clubs such as Chelsea and Arsenal. That could make the head spin for any professional footballer, let alone a teenager.
But Emerson might be an exception. He remains quite focused on his current club, who enter the last stages of the Brazilian season with a good chance of grabbing a Copa Libertadores spot. For the youngster, the rumors serve simply as further motivation to keep putting in the work, to keep growing and improving and finding success.
“[The rumours are] very gratifying for me, they only give me more fuel to work harder. But regardless of that I’m still focused on Atlético, I don’t think about it now. My mind is only on the last three fixtures, I’m 100% focused on it.”
-Emerson; Source: O Tempo
That is definitely the proper approach to such a situation for a player of any age, but especially one who’s only been a professional for two seasons. And if he keeps such a solid mentality going forward, surely the path to stardom will reveal itself to him as well.