Italian defender Emerson Palmieri revealed the chat he held with a manager that convinced him leaving Chelsea was the right move.
The full-back joined Chelsea from Roma in 2018, and has made 71 appearances for the English giants. However, the arrival of Ben Chilwell from Leicester City last summer left Emerson sliding down the pecking order.
This, coupled with the retention of Marcos Alonso at Chelsea – who has started every Premier League game so far this season – left Emerson without a regular place in the side.
Despite featuring heavily in Euro 2020 for Italy, Alonso and Chilwell remained the favoured left-backs at Stamford Bridge. Therefore, Emerson decided to depart on loan to Lyon, with his mind made up by a chat with Italy boss Roberto Mancini.
“I decided to leave Chelsea as I had no space. Roberto Mancini told me: you need to play, you’ve to be a starter,” he said, per transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Clearly impressed by the prospect of a new start, Emerson mulled over a potential deal before committing to it.
“OL proposed an interesting project and I accepted in two or three days. I’m really happy with my choice.”
The 27-year-old also attracted interest from Napoli. Were he to join, he would have been reunited with his former boss Luciano Spalletti.
However, he decided against the reunion, and departed for a fresh challenge in France with Lyon.
Lukaku takes heat from Inter hero
Transfer windows at Stamford Bridge are action-packed more often than not. With notable departures including Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud.
The major inbound transfer was the re-signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, for £97.5m. This signing, however, has taken some flak, with former Inter striker Diego Milito taking a dig at Lukaku.
“As for Lukaku, there is one thing you should never do: promise what you can’t deliver,” he said.
“It’s normal for a player to leave and go somewhere else, but the fans are disappointed for his declarations of loyalty before joining Chelsea.”
While the transfer may have unearthed some distaste in Milan, Chelsea fans will be more than happy with the arrival of Lukaku, and will hope he can inspire them to back-to-back European titles.