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Tottenham: Noel Whelan claims one right-back could be axed

Tottenham: Noel Whelan claims one right-back could be axed -Premier League News

According to ex-BBC pundit Noel Whelan, Tottenham Hotspur will let either Emerson Royal or Matt Doherty leave this summer if the Premier League giants sign Djed Spence.

The Lowdown: Spence pursuit and Emerson bid

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Antonio Conte was targeting six new signings in the summer transfer window, with one of the priority positions being right wing-back.

The Lilywhites have been in talks over a move for Middlesbrough gem Spence for weeks, with Football Insider reporting at the end of June that the two clubs were just £1m apart in their valuations.

The same outlet claimed later that day that Atletico Madrid had tabled a bid for Emerson, with Spurs open to letting him go if they could receive at least £20m for his services.

The Latest: Conte tipped to wield the axe

Whelan was asked by Football Insider whether he expects either Emerson or Doherty to leave Tottenham in the coming weeks.

The 47-year-old replied: “It was an indifferent season [for Emerson]. That was the one area where Conte really struggled to find the right balance. You’ve got Doherty there and you’ve got Royal there.

“At times they showed up and showed their qualities, but there weren’t enough times. Conte has had enough time to assess that.

“If Spence does come in then there’s going to be some movement in that area, you don’t need three right-backs so something’s got to give.

“With the time that Conte has had there, he’s made up his mind up and if an offer comes in that is good enough then he’ll allow one of them to leave.”

The Verdict: Emerson the more likely to go

Both Doherty and Emerson still have a considerable amount of time left on their respective contracts, with the Irishman’s not expiring until 2024 and the latter committed until 2026.

However, Conte doesn’t require three right-backs in his squad, so there is almost certain to be at least one departure in that position.

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Between the two, you might imagine that Doherty is the more likely to face the chopping block, having only made 14 top-flight appearances last season compared to Emerson’s 31. However, the ex-Wolves defender did face a long spell on the sidelines due to injury, and while Atletico apparently hold an interest in Emerson, no potential suitors have emerged for Doherty.

That could make the Brazilian the most likely right-back departure from N17 this summer, although that decision rests in the hands of Conte and Fabio Paratici.


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