Emerson injury not a concern; a new contract can be celebrated
(Photo by John Walton - PA Images/via Getty Images)

Chelsea fans may have been fearing the worst when they heard the news that Emerson Palmieri  was forced off after eight minutes in Italy's recent international win over Finland. 

The left-back hobbled off in the Azzurri's European Championship's Qualifying match within ten minutes after what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

However, to the relief of so many around Stamford Bridge, both he and Roberto Mancini confirmed that the injury was only minor and his substitution was only precautionary.

Emerson over Alonso

If only for selfish reasons, the cause for concern for the Blues faithful is who may have replaced Emerson had the injury been as serious as first imagined.

That would of course be Marcos Alonso, who has fallen out of favor with Frank Lampard in the battle for the starting left-back spot at Chelsea. Alonso is yet to start a competitive fixture under Lampard, having played 31 times in the Premier League for Maurizio Sarri.

And those associated with Chelsea have not forgotten the service Alonso has provided over the years; he was pivotal as a wing-back in Antonio Conte's title winning season of 2016/17, claiming six goals, three assists and 15 clean sheets. 

It is Lampard's new, energetic style that has thrown Emerson into the forefront - the Italian has a greater ability of getting up and down the pitch than Alonso with a real knack for taking on an opposing player - along with being three years younger than his Spanish comrade.

Taking to Twitter 

Thankfully for Lampard, it seems his first choice full-back will be in contention for their league fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Emerson took to Twitter in announcing he was okay after Italy's 2-1 victory against the Finish, in which fellow Chelsea team mate Jorginho scored the winner.

He said: "Very important victory today guys. Unfortunately I had a small injury, but it's nothing serious. Let's continue like this!" 

Italy boss Mancini also confirmed the news, as reported by Sky Sports, saying, "It was nothing serious, he stopped to ensure it didn't get any worse." 

Chelsea contract incoming

To add further good news, Lampard looks set to offer Emerson a new contract, following his impressive start to the campaign.

Emerson, unlike Alonso, has started all four games for Chelsea and has the statistics to support his inclusion: only four others in the division have made more tackles (15) and only seven have made more interceptions (10).

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the Blues will commit him to a new five-year deal, with his salary rising from £3.5million to £5million, having joined from Roma in 2018.