West Ham £15m signing Emerson set to rival 32-year-old veteran defender
Emerson Palmieri has joined West Ham on a four-year deal after completing a £15m deal to join the Hammers from Chelsea.
The 28-year-old Italy international has stated that he is eager to wear his new colours and meet the West Ham faithful as soon as possible. [BBC Sport]
The signing will see the Hammers add significant depth to the full-back position and Palmieri will be in direct competition with veteran defender Aaron Cresswell.
Palmieri v Cresswell
The two left-backs have Premier League experience and share a similar profile so it should not be hard for Emerson to fit into the West Ham team without disrupting David Moyes’ system too heavily.
Both defenders are attack-minded full-backs, who enjoy getting on the ball and making things happen, and causing problems for the opposition.
In addition to this, both defenders possess a wand of a left foot, which can be used in crossing situations or set-pieces to deadly effect.
However, Palmieri surprisingly put up improved defensive statistics than Cresswell last season, having better numbers in tackles, interceptions and successful pressures last season. [FBRef]
He also had a marginally higher aerial win percentage as well as having considerably more dribble and progressive carries than Cresswell. [FBRef]
It is yet to be seen if Emerson will take Cresswell’s place in the first XI or have to bide his time to earn a starting spot, but he significantly strengthens the Hammers’ defensive ranks.
In other West Ham news, the club are pondering a move for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles.