Ten months ago, just as we began to understand the widespread impact and repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic that was still just in its nascent stages, Italy national team head coach Roberto Mancini urged his first-choice left back, Emerson Palmieri to quit Chelsea and head back to the Serie A for some regular gametime.
But as much as Emerson tried in the offseason, he was unable to do so. Meanwhile, Chelsea added a proper first-choice left back of our own in Ben Chilwell, and while Emerson has managed to work his way ahead of Marcos Alonso to be the primary backup, he remains just that, a backup. He’s played a grand total of 88 minutes in the Premier League across two substitute appearances, and has nine appearances in all competitions thus far.
And so, we’re back to the same situation as last year. The 2020 European Championships, which were postponed to 2021, are once again coming up, and Mancini once again wants his man a little closer to home, and more importantly, playing more often.
“It would be ideal for him to join an ambitious Serie A club, it would be the best thing...”
-Roberto Mancini; source: GdS via Football Italia
Mancini may be right, but it seems unlikely that Chelsea would let Emerson go willingly or easily (or cheaply!) right now. Alonso has fallen completely out of the first-team picture, and while Cesar Azpilicueta can certainly play left back and we have a couple promising youngsters in the Academy as well who could potentially make the step up if needed, those don’t seem like the ideal solutions for Chelsea.
So unless one of the teams linked, be that Napoli or Juventus, pony up some serious cash, Mancini’s wish will probably go unfulfilled once again.