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.
What Is The Pair’s Legacy At Stamford Bridge?
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.
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.
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.
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