Emerson Palmieri has admitted he only feels ‘important’ in Italy, having failed to secure a move away from Chelsea in the most recent transfer window.
The left-back was one of a few Blues players who were linked with departures from west London, but despite a return to Italy being mooted, he stayed put.
Ben Chilwell arrived from Leicester in a deal worth £50m, forcing Emerson further down the pecking order behind the Englishman and fellow full-back Marcos Alonso. With no move away secured, he will now be left to sit it out until the winter window opens in January.
Speaking while away with the Italian national team, the 26-year-old expressed his disappointment at the situation.
“When I arrive here I change my head. I feel important and part of the group,” he said, via Goal. “At Chelsea, things are not going as I wish in this part of the season. I just have to work.”
Despite his club troubles, Emerson still gets minutes in Roberto Mancini’s side, a place he confesses he feels more comfortable. The defender played the full 90 minutes in the recent draw with Poland, including making a last-ditch tackle on Robert Lewandowski.
“When you play for the national team, you always have to be ready,” he added. “We are due to play three games in 10 days, when I knew I had to play I was happy but it came as no surprise. When I play with this shirt I have to give my best.
“We are defenders, when we face players of this level, that tackle was almost like a goal. I am also happy for the defensive department, it was very important to stop someone like Lewandowski.”
Emerson joined Chelsea on an £18m deal back in January 2018, arriving from Roma after the Blues fended off interest from across Europe. Having failed to live up to his billing since signing that four-and-a-half-year deal, it looks set to be another season on the periphery for the Italian.