Who is Emerson Palmieri? A profile on the reported Chelsea target

Roma's defender from Brazil Emerson Palmieri runs for the ball during the Italian Tim Cup second leg semi-final football match AS Roma vs Lazio on April 4,

Chelsea are moving closer to a deal for Emerson Palmieri, Sky Sports News understands, but who is the Roma full-back?

Sky in Italy are reporting that Palmieri's representatives are happy with terms for the 23-year-old to move to Stamford Bridge, and are just waiting for the clubs to give the nod as they negotiate a double deal which also includes Roma striker Edin Dzeko.

A deal is progressing and the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement, with Roma wanting a fee in excess of £45m for the pair, according to Sky Sports News.

If a deal is completed, what can Chelsea fans expect from Palmieri?

We take a look here...

Roma defender Emerson Palmieri playing against Lazio last year
Image: Emerson in action against Lazio last year

Profile

Name: Emerson Palmieri

Age: 23

Also See:

Position: Left-back

Previous clubs: Santos, Palermo (loan), Roma

Nationality: Italian

Caps: Uncapped

Background

Emerson was born and raised in Santos in Brazil but thanks to Italian ancestry on his mother's side, became and Italian citizen last March.

He made his debut for Santos at the age of 16 after coming through the youth system and by 18 he had established himself as a regular in the first team, thanks in part to his performances for Santos' U20 side as they won the 2013 Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior.

He made his Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A debut in 2013 in a 1-0 defeat to Flamengo and scored his first goal in the same year in a 2-1 defeat at Atletico Paranaense.

Move to Italy...

Emerson's performances for Santos were noticed by Italian club Palermo, who took him on loan for the 2014/15 season with an option to buy.

However, his chances to shine were few and far between and after making just nine appearances the club passed on their option to make the deal permanent.

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos poses during his presentation as new player of US Citta di Palermo at Renzo Barbera stadium on
Image: Emerson spent a season on loan with Palermo before moving to Roma

Palermo's loss was Roma's gain as they took the then-21-year-old on loan for the 215/16 season. He spent his first season at the Stadio Olimpico as an understudy to Lucas Digne, but showed enough promise to have his loan deal extended for a further season.

He went on to enjoy a breakthrough season with Roma making his loan deal permanent for €2m in December, but it ultimately ended in disappointment as he picked up an anterior cruciate ligament injury on the last day of the season.

Former Manchester City star Aleksandar Kolarov has impressed in his absence and since Emerson's return in November he has made just two appearances for the club.

International recognition

FLORENCE, ITALY - APRIL 11:  Emerson Palmieri of Italy poses during the official portrait session after the training session at the club's training ground
Image: Born in Brazil, Emerson switched allegiance to Italy last year

Emerson represented Brazil at U17 level, playing in the 2011 South American U17 football championship and the 2011 FIFA U17 World Cup.

However, last year he officially switched his allegiance to Italy after acquiring Italian citizenship and he was called up for an informal training camp by coach Gian Piero Ventura early in 2017.

He received his first national team call-up a few months later for Italy's friendly against San Marino but remains uncapped because of his untimely injury.

What's his style?

Extremely versatile, Emerson can play either at left-back or on the left wing and has even filled in at right-back during his time at Roma.

He loves to get forward. He's well known for taking on and beating his opposite man, showing off his excellent speed, balance and dribbling skills in the process.

Emerson Palmieri stats per 90 minutes in 2016/17

Key passes 1.4
Dribbles 2.9
Tackles 2.5
Interceptions 2.1
Clearances 2.2
Dribbled past 0.4
Fouled 1.9
Fouls conceded 0.6

Standing at 5ft 9in, he's not afraid to use his frame to his advantage and he draws plenty of fouls from his side with his trickery.

At the other end of the field, he is also good in one-on-one situations with his pace getting him out of tricky situations, while his defensive stats from last season match up favourably with the best in Serie A.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Christian Eriksen of Spurs and Alex Sandro Lobo Silva of Juventus in action during the pre-season match between Tottenham Hots
Image: Juventus were reportedly interested in Emerson as a potential replacement for Alex Sandro (pictured)

What they said...

I watched him a couple of times at Palermo and I liked the way he moved. With his agent also having offered him to us on very good terms, I decided to sign him.
Former Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini

How will he fit in at Chelsea?

Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring Chelsea's second goal with Danny Drinkwater and Alvaro Morata
Image: Emerson would compete with Marcos Alonso for a starting spot should his move to Chelsea go through

Currently, Marcos Alonso is Chelsea's only real option at left-back with Cesar Azpilicueta preferred as one of Antonio Conte's three centre-backs.

Marcus Alonso stats per 90 minutes in 2016/17

Key passes 0.8
Dribbles 1.1
Tackles 2.6
Interceptions 1.5
Clearances 2.6
Dribbled past 0.9
Fouls won 0.7
Fouls conceded 0.8

Last summer, they tried to sign Alex Sandro from Juventus but with the Brazilian staying in Turin, Conte has had to turn his attentions elsewhere.

While Sandro's arrival would have cast a huge doubt over Alonso's position in the starting line-up, Emerson, who has also attracted the interest of Juventus, is nowhere near the finished article.

Alex Sandro stats per 90 minutes in 2016/17

Key passes 1.9
Dribbles 2.8
Tackles 3
Interceptions 2.2
Clearances 2.1
Dribbled past 0.6
Fouls won 2.1
Fouls conceded 1.7

However, his performances for Roma last season showed he has all the attributes to become a world class full-back and if he can fulfil that potential then Chelsea could have a real bargain on their hands.

Can he rediscover that form, though, after recovering from an ACL injury? Chelsea will be hoping he can, leaving all thoughts of Sandro well and truly behind.

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