Image source: Chelsea via Twitter
For Chelsea fans who do not follow Serie A, Emerson Palmieri may not be a familiar name. And with only one league appearance to his name so far this season, he may have even dropped off the radar of some fans in Italy – outside of Rome at least.
However, his prolonged absence due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament has not prevented some of the biggest clubs in Europe from pursuing the left-footed full-back. Juventus showed an interest last summer as they scouted possible replacements for Alex Sandro, while English clubs such as Liverpool and Newcastle were also linked with the player. But in the end, it is Chelsea that have landed the signature of one of Brazil’s hottest young prospects. So what value can the Blues expect from a deal that could be worth up to €29m? And why were Roma so willing to let him go?
To answer the first question, we need to consider the trajectory of the 23-year-old’s career. Just three and a half years ago, he was working to establish himself as a first-team regular at Santos before being sent out on loan to Serie A side Palermo. However, during that debut spell in Italy, he only made nine appearances, often playing second fiddle to Moroccan international Achraf Lazaar, now on loan at Benevento from Newcastle. His second loan spell in Italy saw him move to Roma where he was recruited as back-up to Lucas Digne. However, he did enough to earn a second loan spell before being recruited on a permanent basis for €2m just over a year ago before Chelsea came calling.
As you can see, the road from Santos to Chelsea has been short and swift and fans expecting the finished article will likely be disappointed. He still has plenty of room to improve but he is capable of doing a job at the top level and has age on his side. For those looking at the transfer from a football betting point of view, he will certainly add some more depth to Chelsea’s squad as they attempt to compete on several fronts. However, Chelsea’s price of 28/1 to win the Champions League is unlikely to be affected by this transfer.
Image source: RomaPress via Twitter
As for Roma’s decision to sell, it makes perfect sense when you consider that Spaniard Monchi is now Director of Football in the capital. Getting €20m for a player that the club paid €2m for a year ago, is the kind of deal that he excelled at during his time at Sevilla. Roma fans may be feeling a little dismayed but his recruitment record suggests that the money will be spent wisely.
So, overall the transfer seems to make sense for both parties. Chelsea need to strengthen as they look to compete for the top four in the league, while also challenging for the Champions League and FA Cup. Meanwhile, Roma have made a huge profit on a player they feel confident they can replace at much lower cost.