Emerson Palmieri has taken a while to establish himself at Chelsea, but it looks to have finally happened.
He arrived in the January following a serious injury at Roma that had cut him down just as he was establishing himself.
After that, he had 6 months stuck behind Marcos Alonso on the bench at Chelsea, before gradually battling his way into the team under Maurizio Sarri.
The Italian coach was then replaced by Frank Lampard this summer, and he might have feared that might mean back to square one when it came to competing with Marcos Alonso, but Lampard clearly likes him and has played him in the first team consistently.
His form for Chelsea has got better and better, and he was exceptional for Italy yesterday starting in their EURO qualifiers.
Speaking to the press in his adopted country after the game, he was very clear that he thinks this is as good as things have ever got for him:
“I think it’s the best period of my career,” Emerson said in quotes collected on the official Chelsea website.
“I’m very happy at Chelsea, just as I was last season, but obviously a player is always happier when he plays regularly.”