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Tottenham: Conte loving Emerson Royal’s dedication behind the scenes

Tottenham: Conte loving Emerson Royal’s dedication behind the scenes -Tottenham Hotspur News

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has been ‘really impressed’ by the dedication shown by right wing-back Emerson Royal this season, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Lowdown: Conte’s favoured right-back

Upon his arrival at Hotspur Way, the Italian boss was unsure of his best option to play on the right-hand side of his defence.

Towards the end of last season, Matt Doherty had most consistently nailed down the position, but Conte still seemed unhappy with his options in the squad.

Consequently, the Lilywhites signed Djed Spence from Middlesbrough in a deal worth £20m.

However, it now appears Emerson has established himself as the manager’s favourite, having started seven out of eight matches thus far in the Premier League this season.

The Latest: Jones’ claim

During the Lilywhites’ disappointing 3-1 defeat in the north London derby at the weekend, the Brazilian was sent off for a high challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

Speaking about the 23-year-old’s position at the club following his red card, Jones told The Transfer Tavern:

“I think the red card was, to be honest, more of an unfortunate moment rather than anything to seriously analyse – I think he got a little bit unlucky.

“I know that Conte has been really impressed by his dedication and his work rate.

“To be honest, I think he’ll continue to get chances for the foreseeable future.”

The Verdict: Surprise favourite

Having failed to impress Conte upon the manager’s arrival at the north London club, it is a surprise to see Emerson starting week-in and week-out for the Lilywhites as the side’s first-choice option at right wing-back.

However, when looking at the Brazil international’s underlying stats, it is actually easy to see why. As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, the 23-year-old ranks in the 95th percentile for clearances per 90, in the 94th percentile for pressures and in the 92nd percentile for tackles, showing defensive dominance despite his lack of attacking prowess.

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Despite his moment of madness, it is likely we will see the Brazilian back in Conte’s starting XI for both Premier League and Champions League games – much to Tottenham fans’ initial surprise.


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