Chelsea have spent £122m on left-backs ever since Ashley Cole left the club in 2014. The club has not been able to find a suitable replacement for the former Arsenal player and their quest for a new left-back continues.
As of now, Marcos Alonso is the first choice to start as a left-back. Antonio Conte has not been impressed by Kenedy, who has been sent on loan to Newcastle, but even when in the team, the Brazilian didn't play much for the Blues.
Conte has been looking to bring in competition for Alonso for quite some time now. His first choice was Alex Sandro of Juventus but the Chelsea boss has had to look elsewhere because of the high asking price.
It is believed that Conte may have gotten his man in the form of AS Roma's left-back Emerson Palmieri and the Blues have reportedly agreed to sign the player on a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Let us see who the player is and what he would bring to the club once he signs.
Born on 3rd August 1994, Emerson Palmieri dos Santos or commonly known as Emerson plays as a left-back for Roma.
He represented Brazil at the U-17 level and participated in various competitions for the team including 2011 South American U-17 Football Championship which Brazil won and the 2011 Fifa U-17 World Cup.
Thanks to the Italian ancestry on his mother's side, he also started receiving calls from the Italy national football team. He officially switched allegiances to Italy on 29th March 2017, but he is yet to make an appearance for the country.
Emerson started his footballing career back in 2011, at the age of 16, for a club where he spent most of his childhood, Santos FC. He made his 1st team debut in April coming on as a late substitute in a 3-0 win against Paulista.
2 years later, he had established himself as a regular for the club and was a key player for Santos U-20s win in 2013 Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior.
Seria A club, Palermo noticed his efforts and the player joined the club in the summer of 2014 on a year-long loan with an option to buy.
However, he didn't get many opportunities as he was a backup to Achraf Lazaar. Palermo then passed the option to buy and Roma acquired the services of the player on a year-long loan before making it permanent for €2m in 2016.
Statistically speaking, Emerson was Roma's best defender in the Seria A last season. The 23-year-old is just as versatile as Alonso. He can play on either of the flanks or even in a midfield position if required.
The player is equally strong when it comes to attacking or defending with the ball. He is a strong holder of the ball and he has 88% pass success which is excellent for a wing-back.
He is also strong when it comes to tackling and ariel duels having an 84% and 68.42% success rate respectively.
When it comes to defence, stats show that he is better than Alonso. He made 2.06 interceptions and won 1.51 tackles per 90 minutes last season. His greatest strength lies in creativity. He loves to run with the ball and has great dribbling skills.
Like any player, Emerson also has certain weaknesses where he can work and improve on. He can improve on his defensive aspects with respect to ball clearances. He hasn't impressed much in that area but luckily for him, that hasn't resulted in a goal conceded. But it is only a matter of time when that happens and the fans won't be pleased with that.
Emerson's biggest weakness is his fitness. Despite 2016/17 being his 1st season where he was regular for the club, he made just 36 appearances in all competitions. Though he would rotate with Alonso at Chelsea, the club must consider the fact that he hasn't played 50+ games in a season so far.
He had an ACL injury in the last game of the season and has only just returned to full fitness. He has so far started just 2 games for the club raising doubts whether the player would be able to continue to play as energetically as he did before the injury.
ACL injuries are not quick to get over. It is hard for the player to get back in the same form before the injury, take, for instance, Kurt Zouma or Baba Rahman.
It is a gamble that Chelsea are most likely willing to take
What happens next?
The best that can happen is that the player will show no effects of the injury and would be able to replicate his last season's performance. If so, Chelsea would be acquiring a solid player. He is just 23-years-old and has a long career ahead of him.
The worst that can happen is that the player never recovers from the injury and is not able to give his 100% on the pitch. Thus, the quest for a left wing-back continues for the Blues.
With Kenedy joining Newcastle on loan for the rest of the season, it almost certain that Emerson will join Chelsea in the next few days. As things stand, the player and both the clubs have reached an agreement. It will be interesting to see how Emerson fares in the Premier LeaguePublished 26 Jan 2018, 18:11 IST