Emerson Royal : Can Tottenham's Brazilian still offer something for Antonio Conte?
The right back riddle at Spurs has always been difficult to solve since the departure of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier who have both had great success since leaving the club.
In 2020, Matt Doherty was signed as competition for Serge Aurier whose performances were beginning to deteriorate, although this acquisition appeared to undeniably improve the Ivorian’s game almost instantly.
As the January window came to a close, Daniel Levy’s notorious negotiations landed their top target in Sporting superstar Pedro Porro.
The Spanish wingback was expected to be an instant feature for the North London side but there was one man who had different ideas.
The Lilywhites were left with ten men against Arsenal when Emerson Royal received a red card, losing his place in the team.
The Brazilian has since been met with boos and negativity from fans after below par performances, but his Spurs career appears to have been rejuvenated.
Man of the match worthy performances against Fulham and Man City have won over supporters and their belief in the former Barcelona full-back.
Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty both had struggled at the start of their Spurs career, but a mention of competition provided a positive impact to their output. It seems Royal is certainly seeing the benefits of having fresh high calibre competition at the club.
Who had the better Spurs career?
- Serge Aurier
- Matt Doherty
Emerson Royal arrived in the summer of 2021 with a lot of pressure due to a high price tag of £25.8 million, especially when considering he was only bought back by Barcelona for £8 million in the same window.
The Catalonian side must've been rubbing their hands when a player they had only played three times was about to triple in value.
The same cannot be said, however, of Pedro Porro who was very close to not joining Spurs due to the crucial role he had at Sporting Lisbon.
Porro isn't the typical right-back in that he was on penalties when playing in Portugal and contributed to plenty of goals, with 2 goals and 7 assists in twenty-two appearances this season.
His attacking prowess is something Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty failed to provide consistently and with Djed Spence not getting a much needed run of first team football, reinforcement was very much needed.
A further reason for improvement was the expected loan departure of Spence to Stade Rennais, along with the unexpected contract termination of Doherty, who is now at Atletico Madrid.
The prior has already started providing encouraging signs for Tottenham fans, with his new club bordering on confusion as to why he wasn't being played more in North London.
On the other hand, despite losing two right wing-backs, it seems Antonio Conte now has well balanced cover in that area of the pitch.
The more attacking player in Porro is counterbalanced by the more defensive Royal, who despite mistakes in the final third, is regularly good in the tackle.
Before joining the Lilywhites, Emerson had the most interceptions (67) and third most tackles (60) in La Liga, only committing one error leading to a shot whilst simultaneously playing the most minutes for Real Betis in the 2019/2020 season.
It is safe to say he has had his ups and downs, yet Emerson Royal certainly still has the ability to gain a second wind at Spurs, providing healthy competition for Porro in the process.