Lost amid all the Francesco Totti vs Luciano Spalletti and the Champions League chase last season was the breakout campaign of Emerson Palmieri. Invigorated and emboldened by Spalletti’s tactics and simple belief in him, the Karate Kid enjoyed the best season of his nascent career, logging nearly 2,000 league minutes and becoming a vital piece of Roma’s machine last season.
While no one would confuse him with Roberto Carlos, Palmieri was a solid two-way threat for Roma last season and was instrumental in their record breaking campaign. Sadly, Palmieri had to be sacrificed to meet Roma’s monthly ACL quota last May, dampening an otherwise splendid season.
Thanks to Aleksandar Kolarov’s rebirth this season, Palmieri’s absence hasn’t been felt quite as much as it normally would, but his return was certainly a welcomed development for a team suddenly short on depth, to say nothing of results. And while he isn’t exactly dominating the Cobra Kai or rescuing rare bonsai’s off an edge of a cliff, Palmieri figures to at least be part of the equation down the stretch this season, before fully reintegrating himself ahead of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Sounds great, right? Yeah, not so fast...
That, my friends, is probably the first of many salvos Chelsea will throw at Palmieri, and while Di Marzio didn’t go into much detail in terms of facts and figures, we can safely assume Chelsea are at least doing their due diligence on Palmieri, who may, according to Di Marzio, be “sacrificed” to raise funds for Roma.
Funds for what, I have no idea, but it just goes to show you, Roma can’t have nice things, at least not for too long. With Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman and now Palmieri all being targeted by a swath of suitors, don’t be shocked if Roma bites one or more of these rumors.