Date of birth3 August 1994
Emerson Palmieri moved to Chelsea from Italian side Roma in January 2018, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Blues.
A versatile left-sided player who can operate as a full-back, wing-back or in a more advanced role, Emerson is skilful, possesses a good range of passing and reads the game well.
Emerson, full name Emerson Palmieri dos Santos, arrived at Stamford Bridge following a fruitful and productive two-and-a-half seasons with Roma, where he established himself as an important member of the side and gained invaluable experience of playing in Europe.
Emerson joined the Blues at the end of January 2018 and made his debut for the Blues in our 4-0 FA Cup win over Hull City a couple of weeks later, when he impressed at left wing-back and laid on a goal for Olivier Giroud.
He got his chance to play in the Premier League when Marcos Alonso was suspended for three games, impressing in away wins at Burnley and Swansea. Between those matches he didn't look out of place in the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton at Wembley, although injury denied him a chance to be involved in the final the following month.
Emerson's maiden Chelsea goal arrived at Anfield in a League Cup win over Liverpool (below). He scored the equaliser from close range as we came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.
As the season wore on Emerson featured more and more often from the start, offering pace and thrust from left-back as well as excellent crossing ability. That was best evidenced in the Europa League final when his delivery was headed home by Olivier Giroud for the crucial opening goal. In total he made 27 appearances.
The Italian international made more Premier League appearances in 2019/20 than either of his previous two seasons at Stamford Bridge, spending large spells of the campaign as Frank Lampard’s first choice on the left side of our defence.
He had a promising beginning to the season, which saw him start every game until the first international break, his longest run in the team to that point. A niggling injury picked up on international duty interrupted his form, but he returned to reclaim his place in the side in November. After starting our win over Watford, he remained the left-back of choice in a back four for most of 2019, including a long-overdue Champions League debut.
Despite a strong showing against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round, the emergence of Reece James at right-back and the subsequent shifting of Cesar Azpilicueta to the left side of our defence saw Emerson reduced to the role of substitute at the start of 2020. He made two starts following the resumption of football after the Covid lockdown, our FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester and the second leg of our Champions League last-16 defeat to Bayern Munich.
The cup competitions offered Emerson most of his playing opportunities in 2020/21, and also his undoubted individual season highlight.
The Italian international had only just come on the pitch in the dying stages of our Champions League last-16 home leg against Atletico Madrid when he burst onto Christian Pulisic’s pass as we broke and fired a precise shot into the far corner with his first touch. It sparked legendary scenes between Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Mason Mount watching on in the East Stand.
Restricted to two Premier League appearances, Emerson played in every round of the FA Cup before the final, and also featured in both Carabao Cup games. In our victorious Champions League campaign he made six appearances, including that brief but brilliant cameo against Atleti.
On 19 August 2021, it was announced Emerson had joined Lyon on loan for the season.
Having been a standout performer for Santos’ Under-20 side, Emerson began to feature for the first team more regularly and he eventually caught the eye of Italian side Palermo, who signed the youngster on a season-long loan ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Born in Sao Paulo in August 1994, after progressing through the ranks he made his first-team debut for his hometown club Santos at the age of 16.
Emerson then moved to Roma, again on a season-long loan, a year later and scored his first goal for the club at the San Siro in a 3-1 win over AC Milan. He joined Roma on a permanent basis in December 2016.
During the 2016/17 season, as a team-mate of Toni Rudiger, he started regularly for Roma and performed well over the course of the campaign as they finished second in Serie A, just four points behind champions Juventus.
Injury ruled him out of the start of the 2017/18 campaign but he returned to make two appearances for the Italian side in December before completing his move to Chelsea a month later.
Having represented Brazil in tournaments, including the Under-17 World Cup, at a younger level, Emerson became an Italian citizen in March 2017 due to ancestry on his mother’s side and earned a first call-up to the Italy national side shortly afterwards.
Emerson made his senior debut for Italy in September 2018 in a UEFA Nations League game against Portugal, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 defeat. He was involved frequently during their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and was named in Roberto Mancini's squad for the delayed tournament itself.
Although he was initially back-up, Emerson played the whole of the group-stage win over Wales and, following an injury to Leonardo Spinazzola, came off the bench in the quarter-final win over Belgium. He was then named in the starting line-up for the semi and final as Italy beat both Spain and England on penalties and lifted the European Championship trophy at Wembley.