Brazilian defender in the spotlight.
Emerson Thome spent three years on Wearside between 2000 and 2003 and made 53 appearances under Peter Reid’s stewardship.
The Brazilian defender moved to English football with Sheffield Wednesday after spells with Academica, Tirsense and Benfica in Portugal.
Thome was an instant hit at Hillsborough; he was given the nickname ‘The Wall’ for his physical presence and aggressive performances.
After just over two seasons with the Owls, in which time he made 61 league appearances, Thome moved to Chelsea for £2.7m.
However, Thome found it difficult to break the partnership of Marcel Desailly and Frank Lebouef at Stamford Bridge and he made only 21 appearances before moving to Sunderland at the start of the 2000-01 season.
Thome’s arrival coincided with an eight-game unbeaten run at the start of the season with the Brazilian scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Coventry City at the Stadium of Light.
In total, Thome made 36 appearances in his debut campaign; his strike against Coventry was his only goal as the Black Cats finished seventh in the Premier League.
Injuries prevented Thome from having another full season as he made just 12 appearances during the 2001-02 campaign, though he did score in a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
The following season saw Thome make his only appearance in a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
He finished his career with spells at Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Derby County before moving to Vissel Kobe in Japan where he would retire in 2007.