A Chelsea star linked with a Stamford Bridge departure has spoken of the variations between Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel that “make a difference.”
Chelsea have turned their season around since the managerial appointment of Thomas Tuchel. The Blues are fighting for trophies on two fronts and have hauled themselves back into top four contention in the league.
Their Champions League Round of 16 victory over La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid summed up the renaissance Tuchel has overseen.
One player who had a major impact on that tie was versatile defender, Emerson Palmieri.
The 26-year-old had registered less than 600 minutes of action in a Blues shirt with Lampard in charge.
Under Tuchel, however, the Brazilian-born Italy international has appeared with more regularity.
Speaking on his Champions League goal versus Atletico that led to the famous scenes of Thiago Silva’s exuberant celebrations in the stands, Palmieri told Sportsmail (via Football Italia): “I was probably sent on just to waste some time but when I saw our players attacking, I went into the free space, thinking, ‘Will the ball come to me?’
“It did. It was a very special goal.
“I saw Thiago coming down the stands. It was a moment of pure happiness. I was on the other side of the field, but I could hear Jorginho, Thiago and Mason Mount very happy for my goal. Thiago was screaming.”
Regarding his lack of gametime under the former boss, Palmieri continued: “Managers have their preferences and we have to accept it.”
Tuchel’s impact at Stamford Bridge has been immediate, and Palmieri believes the German’s love of details has proved crucial.
“On the first day Thomas arrived, we saw how much he loves the details,” he added.
“He loves to show videos, talk a lot and concentrate on minor things that can make a difference.”
The former Roma man has been linked with a return to Serie A in recent months.
Palmieri previously admitted he would be open to an exit after club chief Marina Granovskaia named the price Chelsea would command.
When asked to comment on what the future could hold, however, Palmieri chose to remain coy.
“We’ll see what happens in June,” he concluded.
Chelsea join race for England-bound defender
Meanwhile, Chelsea have joined the ever-growing list of suitors for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, according to reports.
Milenkovic has established himself as one of the best defenders outside the Serie A elite in his time with Fiorentina. With his contract expiring in 2022, his current club may be forced to cash in on him this summer. It could provide him with the opportunity to test himself at a bigger club.
He now has another suitor in the shape of Chelsea, though. According to Tuttomercatoweb, the Blues have joined the race to sign him.
Chelsea strengthened their defence with the addition of Thiago Silva on a free transfer in the summer. The former PSG captain only signed a one-year deal, though.
Silva could extend that stay by a further year, but either way, Chelsea will soon need to find a longer-term solution. At the age of 23, Milenkovic could be an ideal candidate.
Mainly a centre-back but also able to cover as a right-back, Milenkovic has the potential to succeed in the Premier League. What’s more, it is believed that his preference is to join an English team.