Emerson says he is at the best period of his career

Italy international Emerson has said that he is at the best period of his career after becoming a regular for both club and country. The left-sided defender had spent the past year-and-a-half playing second fiddle to Marcos Alonso but things have changed this season with manager Frank Lampard tending to prefer him ahead of the Spaniard.

This has contributed towards a consistent run of performances at the west London side and that has also been recognised by Roberto Mancini at the national level. Speaking after Italy’s 3-1 win over Armenia, Emerson said that he is pleased with how things have shaped up during the current season where he has become a regular starter with the Blues, he said: “I think it’s the best period of my career. I’m very happy at Chelsea, just as I was last season, but obviously a player is always happier when he plays regularly.”

Emerson has looked defensively assured when compared to Alonso and that has been the prime reason behind Lampard sticking with him on the left side of the defence. In terms of the attacking prowess, Alonso does have the edge over Emerson but the latter has shown that he can provide the perfect cross while taking shots when the opportunity has risen.

Despite this, the Blues defence has been a let-down during the opening phase of the season where Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta have come under scrutiny. Zouma will surely be replaced by Antonio Rudiger, who has recovered from a long-term knee problem but question marks remain over the involvement of Azpilicueta.

Lampard has the services of Reece James to bank upon after the international break and it remains to be seen whether the youngster is offered a debut on the right side of the defence ahead of Azpilicueta. James has built his reputation through a top season on loan with Wigan Athletic in the Championship but he remains untested at the Premier League level.