Will 2018/19 be the season Emerson truly arrives at Stamford Bridge?
Bar the odd couple of individuals, no one really stood out for Chelsea during the 2-0 defeat at Wembley in the Community Shield.
It was a poor collective performance from the Blues, with Manchester City running out comfortable winners on the day, with 2-0 arguably a kind scoreline.
Chelsea are still very much in a transition phase, with new boss Maurizio Sarri having only been in the job a matter of weeks following the annoyingly long process of trying to get rid of Antonio Conte.
One thing thats looks likely to happen in 2018/19 is a switch from a back three to a back four, and this could be the chance for Emerson Palmieri to properly stake his claim in the side.
Emerson was signed by Conte in January from Roma but has been on the periphery ever since, with Marcos Alonso the Italian’s preferred choice at left wing-back.
The Spaniard has done ok in that role since joining from Fiorentina, but he looked shaky as part of a flat back four against City, with his intentions to attack clear.
With Conte now long gone, it does beg the question; is Alonso in line to struggle as Sarri reverts the team back to a four-at-the-back system? There’s defiitely a chance he could because of his attacking instincts, so perhaps 2018/19 could be Emerson’s time to shine.
The 24-year-old has not be given much of a chance so far, but Sarri will have seen plenty of him in Serie A over the past few years, and should know that he has a better balance of attack and defence to his game compared to Alonso. He’s lightening quick, which helps to bail him out when his positioning is wrong – Alonso cannot lay claim to such a handy trait.