Conte keen for Palmieri to push Alonso

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says the arrival of Emerson Palmieri has given him an important option.

Marcos Alonso has been a key player for the Blues this season but Conte wanted another left-sided player to be brought in during the January transfer window.

And he is keen for the new arrival to push for a first-team place.

Conte said: “He played very well for Roma last season and then he had a bad injury.

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“Now he stays with us and for sure he is an option to Marcos Alonso and I think it’s good for us.

“Who deserves, plays. This is our view in the changing room.

“If a player deserves to play it’s important for me to look at what happened during training sessions and the game.”

However, Palmieri is unlikely to be involved in Monday’s game at Watford and fellow new signing Olivier Giroud is expected to be among the substitutes.

“We have to wait because don’t forget that especially for Palmieri we are talking about a player who is coming back from a bad injury,” Conte explained.

“We have to make the best decision to bring these two players in the best physical condition and then to work with them.”