Emerson Palmieri has become a subject of inquiry from Napoli, with the Serie A side keen on prizing the defender away from Chelsea’s grasp.
According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Neapolitans view the left-back as a ‘dream’ acquisition, wanting him to revisit to the country for whom his international footballing allegiance lies.
Emerson joined Chelsea having enjoyed two years in Italy with Roma, and has been capped 12 times by the national team.
This situation rests on whether Napoli can sell the player currently occupying Emerson’s position, Faouzi Ghoulam.
Chelsea will have their own full-back dilemma if Emerson were to set-sail, considering the shaky status of Marcos Alonso within the squad.
The Spaniard has only made three appearances this season, a signal that Frank Lampard is looking to wind down his days at Stamford Bridge. And the Independent report that Atletico Madrid have shown interest in Alonso.
However, if Chelsea were to sell, that would leave just Emerson and Ben Chilwell as the club’s only natural left-backs, and if Napoli managed to turn their dream transfer into reality, the Blues would be down to one.
Considering Chilwell’s injury issues, letting both go would be inexcusable and a predicament Lampard will want to avoid. Emerson has evidently leapt above Alonso in the pecking order, performing admirably when called upon. Therefore, the obvious route would be allowing the latter to depart; due to his current difficulties, there would be few complaints from either camp.
It may depend who comes in with a bigger or better offer, and how desperate either Napoli or Atletico are to retrieve their respective transfer targets.
There has been no talk of Chelsea acquiring a left-sided defender for themselves, with outgoings the priority, yet the club has to be wary of cashing in on all of their assets without a strategic back-up plan.
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It would be unwise to rid of Emerson in this transfer window. The relentless fixture schedule requires rotation, and although Chilwell will always take priority, someone needs to be on stand by 24/7.
Due to Alonso’s lack of serious action, Chelsea cannot really afford to get him back up to speed in the Premier League pressure cooker.