The Chelsea defense currently miss Emerson Palmieri and even though he is just one left back, it has affected the team’s style of play. However, his  replacement Marcos Alonso seems to be doing fine in his absence.

There are reports however that the Italian might be back soon, a development that might be a threat to the Spaniard’s position in the team.

Even though the 25-year-old Italian has arguably been Chelsea’s standout defender at the start of the season, his recent injury has affected him. He sustained a thigh injury while on international duty with Italy back in September and returned for Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool, only to suffer another setback in the first half of the 2-1 defeat.

In his place, Marcos Alonso has been holding the spot that used to be Palmieri’s playground and it seems Palmieri’s spot might be under threat seeing as the Spaniard has been impressive with his performance so far.

Who is the better option?

Lampard’s option for the left back role has been a topic of discussion among fans for quite a while and as it stands, many fans prefer Emerson Palmieri to Marcos Alonso probably because the latter’s style of play is the type that slows down Chelsea’s fluidity in attack. One does not need to look too closely at Chelsea’s style of play to understand that the system is dependent on fluid interplay of the ball and pace. With this, using Alonso contradicts that style of play.

That’s not all there is to Alonso as he also seems to dwell on the ball and instead of making overlaps, he makes central runs. This might be because of his urge to score goals but in terms of the role he plays in, Alonso fails on metrics.

On the other hand, Palmieri is the opposite of Marcos Alonso. He accomplishes all of Alonso’s shortcomings.

Stats – Emerson vs Alonso

Marcos Alonso has a total of 125 appearances in the Premier League, with a total of 48 clean sheets and 115 goals conceded. He has 270 tackles and 69% tackle success, 53 blocked shots, 196 interceptions, 348 clearances and 751 recoveries.

Also, he has 580 duels lost and 191 aerial battles lost with one error leading to goal. (Premier League Stat)

Unlike Alonso, Emerson has a total of 20 appearances in the Premier League with three clean sheets and 25 goals conceded. He has a total of 35 tackles with a tackle success of 63%, one last man tackle, three blocked shots, 20 interceptions, 22 clearances and 74 recoveries. (Premier League Stat)

Conclusion

For someone who hasn’t played so many games in the Premier League, Emerson has quite impressive statistics and one needs to understand that Alonso’s stats might look great on paper but they lead many errors. By going central, the wingers are isolated and cannot impact the game as much.

With Alonso, a centre midfielder has to stay beside him and this reduces the numbers for Chelsea in the attack. This creates numerical inferiority leading to an insignificant attack.

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