2021 turned out to be a very good year for Emerson Palmieri. The left-back picked up a Champions League title and helped Italy to Euro 2020 glory within two months of each other.
But after playing just twice in the Premier League throughout the entire 2020-21 season, he understandably sought a fresh challenge for the current campaign.
A loan move to Ligue 1 side Lyon eventually came around and the left-back has become a regular under Peter Bosz, even scoring his first goal in midweek against Troyes.
But Emerson has revealed that he almost found himself moving elsewhere, only for a mystery reason to scupper a move to Serie A giants Napoli.
“After the Euros, I wanted to play continuously, to feel important. At Chelsea, I had little space, and Mancini told that, at my level, you must always be on the pitch. I talked to [Luciano] Spalletti and gave my agreement to Napoli,” the Euros winner told Gazzetta Dello Sport, via Sport Witness.
“I don’t know why it wasn’t done. Lyon presented me with a good project and I decided in two to three days. I think I have made the right choice. There is a young and united group. And the Brazilians helped me settle in immediately”.
With Marcos Alonso and Ben Chilwell both remaining at Stamford Bridge, it is perhaps not too big a surprise that Emerson’s game time in west London was limited.
Emerson did have some some memorable moments at SW6, however, including scoring against Atletico Madrid in March. That was a win that went a long way to setting the Blues on track to eventually winning the Champions League.
Chelsea currently sit joint top of the Premier League table and face a huge game on Saturday with reigning champions Manchester City paying a visit to the capital.