Emerson Palmieri Transfer to Chelsea from Roma Announced

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2018

ROME, ROMA - APRIL 30:  Emerson Palmieri of AS Roma during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on April 30, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Chelsea have completed the signing of Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma.

News that the deal had been finalised came via the Blues' Twitter account on Tuesday, when the player was officially presented:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

.@EmersonPalmieri is a Blue! Full story πŸ‘‰ https://t.co/a8VTRAXsQj #WelcomeEmerson https://t.co/AcVjRg5DOC

Per the club's official website, Emerson spoke of his admiration for English football: "English football is something I have been watching since I was 15 years old. It is a really beautiful game over here, but it is going to be even more beautiful to play it."

The switch sees the defender leave Roma after two-and-a-half years as a Giallorossi player; he spent the first season after his move on loan at Palermo before making a total of 47 appearances for the Rome giants.

Emerson arrives at Stamford Bridge hoping to provide competition for Marcos Alonso, who has excelled as a left wing-back under the guidance of manager Antonio Conte.

While the Spaniard has been brilliant, the Blues have lacked a natural replacement for him on the left flank. It's a role in which Emerson has the potential to thrive.

Alonso has been excellent on the left since his arrival.
Alonso has been excellent on the left since his arrival.Julian Finney/Getty Images

The 23-year-old impressed in the 2016-17 season for Roma, bringing a tremendous presence to the left side of the pitch. However, his season came to an abrupt end when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Prior to that problem, Emerson was building up some tremendous momentum for Roma and on course for his senior international debut for Italy, per football writer DavidΒ Amoyal:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Before Emerson tore his ACL at the end of last season he had played well enough to make the Italian national team and be linked to Liverpool & Juventus, who considered him the best replacement for Alex Sandro. https://t.co/T7drqM1xfM

The worry for Chelsea will be whether the Brazilian-born player can sufficiently recover from a serious injury.Β After all, Emerson has only played 16 minutes of Serie A football this season, coming off the bench in December in a 3-1 win over SPAL.

Still, with Alonso operating at such a consistently high standard, it's unlikely Emerson will be thrust into the Chelsea XI immediately. That will be to the benefit of the left-back, as he seeks to not only recover fitness but confidence in his durability while out on the pitch.

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph made it clear the former Roma man will be a back-up option to begin with:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

I can't offer an opinion on the Emerson Palmieri signing for Chelsea as I don't recall ever having seen him play. He's initially coming in as back up to Alonso.

Emerson has the potential to be a fine signing for the Blues, as he has showcased plenty of promise throughout his career. His acquisition also fills a hole in what is otherwise a pretty complete Chelsea squad.

Patience will be needed before we see the best of Emerson, and it's unlikely we'll see too much of him in crucial games before the end of the campaign. You sense after settling into his new club, shaking off some rust and getting a full pre-season under his belt, he will be keen to kick on in 2018-19.