Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly interested in and set to target 19-year-old Brazilian star Emerson, who currently plies his trade for Atletico Mineiro.
According to The Sun, Chelsea and Arsenal are looking to invest in a prodigious Brazilian defender. Atletico Mineiro star Emerson, who plies his trade mostly as a right-back is on the radar of the two London based footballing giants, who are eyeing a January move for the youngster.
It may have been just over six months since Emerson joined Atletico Mineiro, but the 19-year-old has forged his name as a key player for the Brazilian club in the domestic league, featuring 20 times for the club so far. Rightly regarded as one of the hottest properties within the South American footballing scene, the new rising star of the continent is starting to catch Europe’s attention as well.
While there are other clubs in the frame as well, Chelsea and Arsenal seem to have joined the cause, with representative from the two clubs in attendance to watch the player in action in a 1-1 draw against Palmeiras. The report indicates two Atletico Mineiro officials have flown to London for talks over a potential deal.
— Chelsea News (@__ChelseaNews) November 16, 2018
For Arsenal and Chelsea both, the pursuit is more about investing in the potential of the youngster while also searching for able backups to strengthen their team depth rather than an immediate need to add quality to the right side of their respective defences.
At Arsenal, Hector Bellerin, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson are the options at Unai Emery’s disposal. Lichtsteiner was brought in more as a stopgap to fill the lack of a quality backup, with Carl Jenkinson enduring a difficult time at the club. Jenkinson is likely to leave, with Lichtsteiner also tipped to follow suit in the coming summer.
And while Bellerin has been oozing quality for Unai Emery, there is still inconsistencies in his game that needs to be ironed out. Emery would also want an able right-back to add to his squad so that, if not anything else, there is healthy competition for places and Bellerin is kept on his toes rather than being comfortable about his status within the squad.
Chelsea face a similar yet not as concerning of a situation. Cesar Azpilicueta seems to still be needing time to get back into his old groove at right-back after playing in central defence for a couple of years. Davide Zappacosta has been stepping it up as well but could look for a move should Maurizio Sarri keep the Italian limited to cup or inconsequential games.
Chelsea also have a rich history of pursuing bright talents to bring in and equip with the best of facilities while ultimately profiting from their eventual sale to a different club, a project that has brought forth a lot of criticism, with not many chances being afforded to the young stars to get into the first-team.
But, there is fresh hope, as evidenced in the case of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu, that Chelsea are willing to provide the youngsters a look-in if they are good enough.
While The Sun are reporting the interest of the two London giants, they state that, according to Brazilian publication O Tempo, the duo are likely to pursue the 19-year-old in January itself. A potential fee of €8 million has been quoted as what the Premier League clubs are likely to offer, as per the report.
It will be interesting to see if either club ends up moving for Emerson in January. Till the window reopens though, at the very least, Emerson will be tearing it up for Atletico Mineiro.