Capped by Italy, dropped by Sarri – the strange case of Emerson

11 September at 19:00
Back in January 2018, Chelsea spent a reported €20 million (plus up to an additional €9 million in bonuses) to bring Brazilian-Italian defender Emerson from Roma to Stamford Bridge. The then-23-year-old signed a contract with the club until the summer of 2022, with high hopes about his place in the future of the famous English club.
 
Emerson started his youth career with Santos FC in Brazil, his place of birth, before eventually moving on loan to Palermo for the 2014/15 Serie A season. The following summer, Roma signed Emerson on a one-year loan deal, before buying him outright for €2 million in January.
 
Emerson spent two and a half years at Roma, playing 47 times for the Giallorossi in all competitions, before moving to Chelsea. Under Antonio Conte, Emerson played seven times for the Blues; five in the Premier League and two in the FA Cup. He made his debut in March and was a common starter in the closing fixtures of the campaign.
 
However, this summer, Maurizio Sarri joined Chelsea as head coach to replace Antonio Conte, with the Italian leaving Napoli to move to London. Emerson is a left-back by trade and Maurizio Sarri has found a lot of faith in Marcos Alonso to play in that role and, therefore, Emerson is yet to play a competitive fixture under Sarri.
 
Emerson was born in Brazil to Brazilian parents but took up Italian citizenship after spending enough time in the country. Emerson represented Brazil at under-17 level, before eventually switch allegiance to Italy in March 2017. He was called up by Gian Piero Ventura in June 2017 but had to withdraw due to injury. Similarly, in May 2018, Roberto Mancini called up Emerson to his team but, once again, the defender withdrew due to an injury.
 
Emerson finally made his debut for the Italian national team on the 10th September, replacing Domenico Criscito as Italy lost 1-0 to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League.
 
Emerson has played more minutes for Italy than Chelsea this season and it looks like the defender has no place in Maurizio Sarri’s short-term plans. Perhaps a loan move or possibly even a transfer could be on the cards in January, unless the defender manages to prove he’s worth counting on.
 
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