With just 18 appearances (14 starts) in 12 months, it’s safe to say that Emerson Palmieri’s time at Stamford Bridge hasn’t exactly been a rousing success. Signed as a much-needed backup to Marcos Alonso (who remarkably managed to not crumble under the workload while having to rely on makeshift depth options like Kenedy, Azpilicueta, or Zappacosta behind him), the idea of Emerson has yet to be lived up to by the reality of Emerson (under either Conte or Sarri).
While the 24-year-old still has plenty of time to make his mark — he’s signed through 2022 (one year less than Alonso, incidentally) — the rumor mill is already starting to churn, linking him with a quick return back to the Serie A.
Last week, La Gazzetta dello Sport and La Repubblica (via Sport Witness) had him on Inter Milan’s radar — Emerson played for current Inter coach Luciano Spalletti at Roma for a season and a half, which, perhaps somewhat concerningly, includes the only season of Emerson’s career so far when he was neither injured nor riding the bench the majority of the time.
This week, the interested party are apparently Juventus, and with view of a permanent transfer rather than of the loan variety. It’s a bit of complicated rumor — as Gazzetta (via Sport Witness again) explain — but Juve could be losing Leonardo Spinazzola to Bologna, leaving them without a proper back up for Alex Sandro. Apparently, they’d consider bringing in Emerson to fill that role, while another left back on their books, Rogério, who’s currently on loan at Sassuolo, would come to Chelsea instead. Essentially, it would be a swap of backup left backs, with Emerson going back home to try to get his name in the running for Euro 2020, and Chelsea gaining the Brazil U20 international.
As fanciful as all that may sound, Emerson’s agent didn’t sound too hopeful of engineering a move for his client this January when asked about Inter last week.
“I think all the big European teams would like to have a great player like Emerson Palmieri in their staff. There have been some enquiries but nothing formal. I can not talk about the clubs that have consulted us. I do not think that he can leave Chelsea now.”
-Fernando Garcia; source: FC Inter News via Sempre Inter
But unless Emerson sees a significantly increased amount of games and minutes in the second half of the season, it would not be surprising to see him push for a move away in the summer. (At that point, maybe Chelsea can do something quite unfathomable, and give someone from the Academy a shot at filling a backup role — Jay Dasilva comes to mind, unless he decides to leave before then of course, with Bristol City looking to make his (and Tomas Kalas’s) loan stays permanent...)