Why West Ham should avoid a move for Emerson Palmieri
Inter Milan hold a long-standing interest in the left-back and are still pursuing a permanent deal for the 25-year-old after having an offer rejected by Chelsea back in the January window. The Blues, however, are now willing to sanction his departure after completing a big-money deal for Ben Chilwell this summer. (h/t Independent)
As per the report, West Ham are on the lookout for options to reinforce their backline but it has been claimed that the Hammers would prefer a loan deal for the Italy international.
Born in Brazil to parents of Italian descent, Emerson Palmieri started his professional career with Santos in South America before joining Italian club Palermo on loan back in 2014. The left-back eventually joined AS Roma on a permanent deal after spending time on loan in the Italian capital.
Emerson made 47 appearances for Roma in all competitions before earning a move to Chelsea back in January 2018. The Italy international made only 7 appearances for the Blues during the second half of the 2017-18 campaign and continued to struggle for game time in the following season after Maurizio Sarri took charge.
The left-back, though, ended the 2018-19 campaign with a respectable tally of 27 appearances, featuring prominently en route to Chelsea’s Europa League triumph. Emerson started the 2019-20 season as the club’s first-choice left-back under Frank Lampard but he lost his place following the turn of the year after a series of poor defensive displays.
West Ham need a new left-back but Emerson is not the answer
West Ham conceded as many as 62 goals en route to their unimpressive 16th-place finish in the PL last term, which was the fourth-worst defensive record in the entire division. The Hammers’ continued to struggle at the back during the 2-0 defeat against Newcastle United on the opening day of the 2020-21 campaign.
Hence, bringing in defensive reinforcements should be a top priority for West Ham if they are to avoid another relegation scare this time around. The Hammers need more depth and quality in all departments at the back, especially at right-back and centre-back, with the club lacking enough competition for places in those areas.
They have already got two established left-backs in Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku, so a new signing in that department need not be top of the club’s agenda amid other pressing concerns. With that in mind, however, it’s imperative to point out that neither player has managed to impress on a consistent basis.
Cresswell has looked like a shadow of the player who once represented England at the international level while Masuaku’s time in East London has largely been a failure. Hence, West Ham need to make sure that whoever comes through the door presents an immediate upgrade on their existing left-back options.
And that is exactly the reason why they need to avoid moving for a player like Emerson Palmieri, who has struggled to cut the mustard since moving to England in 2018. The 26-year-old was provided with ample opportunities by Lampard last season to establish himself as Chelsea’s long-term left-back but he failed to capitalise.
There is hardly any evidence to prove that Emerson would be any kind of an upgrade on Cresswell. In fact, the Italy international’s lacklustre display in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal in January was a reminder of the plentiful flaws in his defensive game and West Ham should be wary of that.
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West Ham need to look at a more reliable option than Emerson if they are genuinely looking to improve their left-back department. The 26-year-old still has plenty of time to improve, but considering that he’s struggled to deliver at Chelsea, signing him would be a gamble that the Hammers simply can’t afford.