Written by Scot Munroe
After two years as a backup in Italy with Palermo and last season with Roma, Emerson Palmieri has proven his worth to be a first team starter in Luciano Spalletti title-chasing Roma side. But it all wasn’t plain sailing for the Brazilian wing back in Italy.
After impressing with Brazilian side Santos, Palermo took a punt on the left back in the 2014-15 season on a season-long loan. But he only made 9 appearances for the club and was deputy to Arhraf Lazaar. But on the last day of the summer transfer window of 2015, Emerson signed for Roma on a season-long loan this time second choice behind Lucas Digne. Emerson struggled to break into the first team and scored on the last game of the season away at AC Milan in a 3-1 away win for Roma.
This summer on the 7th of July, Emerson loan got extended for another year with a €2m purchase if Emerson made 12 appearances for Roma. This time he would have to do battle with Mario Rui and Juan Jesus for that left back role.
Sadly it didn’t go well at the start of the season for Emerson has he picked up a straight red card in Roma collapse home defeat to Porto in the champions league. Daniele De Rossi got sent off in the first half and made things worse Emerson got sent off for a straight red for an over the top challenge on Jesus Corona. Roma lost the game 3-0 and De Rossi and Emerson were made to be scapegoats for their red cards.
A change in tactics/hard work got Emerson back into the Roma starting XI and he hasn’t looked back. Luciano Spalletti changed tactics halfway through the season to a 3-4-2-1 with wing backs and Emerson has flourished on the left-hand side in a more advanced role. His rise to form came to play in Roma derby 2-0 win over Lazio where he came toe to toe with Lazio wingers of Felipe Anderson and Keita Balde.
In that game he won both of his defensive tackles and won both of his defensive clearances. Going forward Emerson was crucial to Roma attack breaking down Lazio and winning the game. Down Roma left-hand side he was successful with 5 out of his 7 take-ons, 9 attacking ball recoveries and they only downside he was successful with 2 out of his 5 crosses. All round good performance from a rejuvenated player.
After his 12 appearances this season, Emerson was brought by Roma for €2m and it has been a good investment for a player who waited for his chances and after 1 red card against Porto is grabbing his opportunity with both hands. A good coach and a change of system is getting the best of the player defensively and in the attacking sense and the best it yet to come.