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Which One of Alonso and Emerson Palmieri Should Chelsea Keep as Chilwell's Backup?

Left-back was a problem position for Chelsea until they brought Ben Chilwell to the club. The Blues have two natural left-back backup option...



Left-back was a problem position for Chelsea until they brought Ben Chilwell to the club. The Blues have two natural left-back backup options in Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri but neither of those two is good enough to command a starting role down the left.

Now that Chilwell is at the club, though, the Blues and Lampard have to make a different decision. They have to choose which player to keep as Chilwell's backup and which one they should sell. Lampard has already admitted that he is looking at trimming the squad and it is almost certain that he will not continue with three left-backs at his disposal.

So which one of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri should Chelsea keep as a backup for the Blues' first-choice left-back? Let's look at the pros and cons of keeping each of these two players at the club.

Alonso and Emerson Compared

When you look at Alonso and Emerson's defensive attributes, you look at two different types of players defensively. Emerson is faster and more agile than Marcos Alonso, but the Spaniard is stronger, especially when it comes to aerial duels.

In attack, both players have similar contributions. Both can deliver a decent cross and are often found in advanced positions down the left flank.

Alonso is the more dangerous of the two when it comes to scoring goals, and Tottenham fans can attest to this being true. Alonso has scored three decisive goals against the Spurs, and Emerson rarely comes close to that sort of offensive contribution.

Most of those Alonso goals are due to his dangerous free-kicks, another thing that Emerson lacks in his arsenal.

On the other hand, at 26, Emerson is four years younger than his Spanish counterpart. He is also Italy's first-choice left-back right now, and that means that he also comes with an international pedigree that Alonso lacks.

On this evidence, Chelsea fans would probably be happier to have the older Alonso as a backup option to Chilwell for a year or two and then try to blood an academy product to compete with the England international.

Who Will Fetch an Acceptable Transfer Fee?

However, you can only sell players that you have buyers for, and that will probably be the factor that decides which player will stay and which one will be sold.

When you are compiling your squad, especially in testing times such as the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of the choices you make don't depend on you. It's not like you are in the position of an easy-going Australian gambling enthusiast who is choosing his top casino in Australia. The laid-back Aussie can choose between blackjack tables and pokies without worrying whether someone will tell him to choose a different game or go to a different table.

In the football transfer market, things are not as straightforward as that. Chelsea can only sell Emerson or Alonso if there is interest for them, and right now it seems like it's slim pickings on that front.

There have been rumours that Sarri wanted to take Emerson back to Juventus, but he is no longer the coach there. Other Italian clubs have also expressed interest, but seeing how they are all cash-strapped it's more likely that Chelsea will have to settle with a loan offer of the Davide Zappacosta-type should there be a transfer.

For Alonso, there is even less interest in the market. Barcelona were thought to have been interested in the past, but a change of manager likely changed those plans too.

All in all, Chelsea will probably ditch one of their two backup left-back, but the market will decide which one will go and not the coach.


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