The reasons why Lyon will not take up the option to sign Chelsea loanee Emerson Palmieri on a permanent deal have come to light.
The 27-year-old full-back was loaned out to Lyon at the start of the season. With Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso ahead in the pecking order, Emerson’s chances of regular minutes at Stamford Bridge looked bleak.
Emerson moved to France with Lyon negotiating an option to buy within the agreement. Since joining the French powerhouse, Emerson has reminded audiences what he is capable of.
He has been a regular at the club, starting 22 of their 29 Ligue 1 matches thus far. However, that stint could’ve been cut short in January following Chilwell’s season-ending knee surgery.
Indeed, the Blues tried to recall Emerson three times in the winter window. What scuppered their attempts was the fact an official recall clause had not been included in the contract.
That meant a compensation fee needed to be paid, and Chelsea’s final offer of €4m was deemed insufficient by Lyon. What’s more, Emerson reportedly wished to see out the season at Lyon given his minutes were guaranteed.
That left Thomas Tuchel deploying the likes of Saul Niguez at left wing-back when Alonso has been afforded a rest. However, according to French outlet Foot Mercato, that situation could be avoided next season.
Emerson Palmieri won’t stay with Lyon
Their journalist, Sebastien Denis, tweeted Emerson is ‘expected to return to Chelsea’ when his loan concludes.
Lyon will not turn the move permanent due to the player’s high salary making a deal impractical. Lyon are currently in 10th position in Ligue 1 and might not have the financial rewards of a European campaign to call on next year.
Additionally, Emerson is stated to ‘not particularly want to stay in Lyon’ beyond the current campaign. As such, Lyon chief Bruno Cheyrou is already lining up a suitable replacement in the summer.
Given Chelsea’s off-field turmoil, the club are not allowed to buy or sell players in the summer at present. That situation could change, though that is the ruling for now.
As such, Emerson’s return may in fact be a welcome boost for Tuchel and company. Chelsea would see a versatile player return to their ranks who would ensure they aren’t caught short on the left side again.
Furthermore, if and when Chelsea’s restrictions are lifted, they could then look to sell Emerson when the time comes. Given his contract doesn’t expire until 2024, they are under no threat of the player leaving as a free agent any time soon.