Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri: 'I'm injury-free and fit to play'
Chelsea signing Emerson Palmieri insisted that he is injury free and ready to contribute immediately after completing a £25 million move from Roma.
The deal to bring Emerson to Stamford Bridge -- worth an initial £17.6m with £7.9m in add-ons -- was announced by both clubs on Tuesday, making him Chelsea's second signing of the January transfer window after Ross Barkley's £15m move from Everton.
Emerson has been signed to provide competition and cover for Marcos Alonso and is eligible for the Champions League, having not featured in Europe for Roma due to his lengthy rehabilitation from an ACL injury suffered in May.
But in an interview with Chelsea's official website, the 23-year-old revealed that he is back in good physical condition and is ready to train at Cobham.
"Physically I feel great," he said. "The injury is now in the past, they were six difficult months for me but what is important is right now I feel good. I couldn't feel better so I only have in mind the idea of training with my team and helping us to achieve more."
Emerson's readiness is a timely boost for Antonio Conte, who heads into Chelsea's match against Bournemouth on Wednesday without Alvaro Morata (back), Willian (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) due to injury. Michy Batshuayi will also miss out as he completes a loan move to Borussia Dortmund.
Conte admitted on Tuesday that he is not familiar with Emerson, but the defender said he is looking forward to working with his new head coach.
"Now I am definitely going to improve here at Chelsea under Antonio Conte," Emerson added.
"He is someone who has already shown that he is a great coach and everyone who plays with him improves, so I am coming to Chelsea with this perspective, that I am going to be playing with one of the best coaches in the world and I am going to get better.
"I learned so much in Italy. Before I went there I used to be a player who just dribbled and shot at goal but what I saw there was that the tactical game can really help your performance. So now I am a better player and I think in some way that is because I managed to combine the two games, Italian and Brazilian."
Emerson also revealed his excitement to reunite with Antonio Rudiger, his former teammate at Roma.
"Toni and I played for a couple of years together at Roma and they were great years," he continued.
"All I can say about him is that he is an extraordinary guy and a great player, and he has already shown that here at Chelsea, so I could not be happier to be back alongside him."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.