Conte’s Summer Transfer Wish-List Has Two Chelsea Defenders: Which One Should Lampard Sell?

Inter Milan's Italian head coach Antonio Conte reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg football match between PFC Ludogorets 1945 and Inter Milan at the Ludogorets Arena in Razgrad, Bulgaria, on February 20, 2020. (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP) (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Gazzetta Dello Sport (Paid Subscription Required), as translated by the Daily Express, Premier League giants Chelsea could soon be contacted by Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte, over the potential summer transfers of two Chelsea defenders. The pair of Chelsea left-back – Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, are both said to be on the Italian tactician’s wish-list, while the Blues’ search for replacements in the role has been no secret either.

The report suggests that the Serie A giants have sanctioned a €130m summer spending spree, with Conte said to be keen on strengthening his squad ahead of next season. It is claimed that the Italian side are looking at signing four players and that both Chelsea stars Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are on that list. Having worked with the Italian manager in the past, it’s perhaps not overly surprising that Conte is going for proven Serie A talents. Chelsea’s search for a left-back has led them into various European leagues so far, but they’ve yet to nail down the right one.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 03: Marcos Alonso of Chelsea during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on March 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

What Is The Pair’s Legacy At Stamford Bridge?

Emerson Palmieri

Emerson Palmieri is a Brazilian-born Italian international who arrived at Stamford Bridge from AS Roma with a massive reputation. Known for being a well-balanced defender who can bombard forward and get crosses into the box just as well as he can defend, it’s safe to say that the Italian has failed to adjust to the fast-paced action of the Premier League. While the former Santos man did have a decent impact in his opening season, his influence within the side gradually dwindled.

Despite being a much better defender than Marcos Alonso, the Italian’s lack of conviction in the final third has cost the Blues dearly. Although the full-back is good at link-up play and tends to make some smart runs into space as well, the fact that his final delivery isn’t up to the mark has been reason enough for Lampard to drop him.

Marcos Alonso

The Spaniard arrived at West London from Serie A outfit Fiorentina, where he was often deployed as a left-winger rather than a full-back. It was actually under Antonio Conte that the former Real Madrid youth product got used to the wing-back’s role, where he seemed to absolutely flourish. In his first season playing in that position, the Blues went on to lift the Premier League title, and he’s been a cult hero at Stamford Bridge ever since.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 14: Emerson of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on December 14, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

For all the quality he does offer going forward, it mustn’t be forgotten that the Spaniard is essentially a winger at heart, meaning that his defensive attributes are subdued. Despite having decent pace and strength, Alonso seems to struggle with general defensive traits like positioning and tackling. The Spaniard is also a free-kick specialist, as can be seen from the variety of set-piece goals that Alonso has scored during his time in West London.

Which Of The Duo Should Lampard Look To Offload?

Marcos Alonso’s lack of defensive quality simply cannot be underplayed, but his attacking play is still miles ahead of Emerson’s. Moreover, the Italian international’s ‘jack of all trades’ skill-set has worked against him, with the more composed and committed Spaniard winning out in most attributes.

Even this season, Alonso had a serious impact in some crucial fixtures. At the same time, it must be conceded that the Italian is yet to put up a single memorable display at left-back. All things considered, it would be in the club’s best interest to try and recuperate the money they paid for Emerson, by selling him to former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte at Inter Milan this summer.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.