Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma on a four-and-a-half-year deal and the Brazilian defender becomes Antonio Conte’s second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of Ross Barkley from Everton earlier in the month.
“Emerson Palmieri has today become the latest addition to the Chelsea squad after completing a transfer from Italian side Roma,” a statement read on Chelsea’s official site.
“The 23-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract and will wear the number 33 shirt,” the statement added.
The Italian coach has been desperate to sign a left full- back to ease the pressure on current incumbent Marcos Alonso and will be delighted at the capture of Palmieri, who will deputise for the Spaniard as the left wing-back in Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 formation.
Juventus’ Alex Sandro was the Blues’ primary target since last summer, but the Italian giants’ £60m ($85m) demands turned them towards other targets. The 23-year-old, who established himself at Roma since joining them two and a half years ago, is reportedly said to have cost Chelsea £17.6m ($24.7m) plus £7m in add-ons.
Palmieri expressed his delight after joining the reigning Premier League champions and revealed that he has been watching the Premier League from a very young age. Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia echoed the defender’s delight and believes the club have made a very good addition going into the second-half of the campaign challenging on three fronts – the league, FA Cup and the Champions League.
“I came here because it’s a great team with a great history. Today I am realising one of my dreams to pull on the shirt of such a great club,” Palmieri told Chelsea’s official site.
“English football is something I have been watching since I was 15 years old. It is a really beautiful game over here but it is going to be even more beautiful to play it,” the Brazilian defender added.
“We are delighted to welcome Emerson to the club. He is a young and talented player who strengthens the squad and will provide excellent competition for places as we pursue success in three different competitions,” Granovskaia added during the defender’s unveiling.