Chelsea has gone through left back after left back in the past decade to find a long term solution. The latest experiment has failed as rumors ignite.
Basically since Ashley Cole lost his starting role, Chelsea has been doing left back experiments to find a worthy successor. Only the player to displace Cole, Cesar Azpilicueta, ever truly worked over the long term. But even he was a make shift left back, seemingly destined to return to the right one day.
Chelsea has gone through left back after left back ever since. Filipe Luis was quite literally the best left back in the world at the time and he could not make his mark. Baba Rahman came in as the best left back in the Bundesliga the season before and fell off harshly. Marcos Alonso seemed like the answer, but for every good run of form, there was an equal and opposite bad run.
Emerson was the latest experiment. He was brought in when Alex Sandro seemed an impossible target. Juventus had earmarked him to replace Sandro if the Blues did get the player. But the Emerson experiment has now run its course as rumors of a new left back, as well as Emerson’s departure, pick up steam.
Italy boss Roberto Mancini has urged Emerson to return to Serie A amidst rumors Maurizio Sarri wants him. He claims it is because he has not played much for Chelsea which is half the story. The other half is Emerson has never played particularly well for Chelsea. Many fans love to hate on Marcos Alonso, but his highs have been higher than anything Emerson has shown.
Which is why rumors of Ben Chilwell and Alex Telles will not go away. A year ago, it may have made more sense for Alonso to be the one heading out the door, but if someone is willing to take Emerson, that is a deal Chelsea cannot really pass up on. Alonso could deputize either Chilwell or Telles as Chelsea builds around the former or starts preparing for a longer term solution with the latter.
Both would offer different things. Chilwell is still very young and would cost a ton of money to bring to Chelsea. He has also cooled off a lot since his early season run of form. It would be an expensive gamble on Chelsea’s part, but not a completely foolhardy one.
Telles would be much cheaper but how he adapts to the Premier League at his age is anyone’s guess. He would also be a shorter term solution given his age. That could open the door for Ian Maatsen down the road or whichever young left back comes along in a few years.
Really though, Chelsea just needs to figure the left back spot out for the long term. The Blues have gone, at most, two years with a left back before moving on to a new one this past decade. They can afford it, but it was so much different when everyone knew it would be Cole for the next few years.
The Emerson experiment has failed like so many others. Chilwell or Telles or who knows are on deck to be next. Hopefully this time Chelsea can get it settled so as not to buy another left back in two years.