Emerson Royal may be a fully-fledged member of the Tottenham Hotspur squad now, but he admits it makes him sad to see his former club Barcelona struggling at the moment.

Royal joined Tottenham from Barcelona last summer, off the back of a successful two-year loan spell at La Liga side Real Betis. The Brazilian defender only made three appearances for Barcelona in his time at the club (Transfermarkt).

Life in North London hasn’t been easy for Royal, with many questioning his capabilities as a right wing-back. It seems Antonio Conte is a fan though, with Royal playing 12 times already this season (Transfermarkt) despite the criticisms levelled at him.

His former club aren’t having the best of times either though. After a summer of crazy transfer activity and financial issues, success is a must for Barcelona this season and beyond.

While the Catalan club sit at the top of La Liga, they are dangerously close to being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages, something they can ill afford to do.

Speaking to AS, Royal admitted it is hard to see Barcelona struggle like this, and said he still speaks to players at the club.

Emerson said: “It makes me very sad because Barcelona are a great team. We always like the big teams in the big competitions, and I think Barcelona have the players, the squad, to turn it around.

“If they don’t qualify, it’s a shame, but I think they will keep working to get into the Champions League again.

On his contacts at the club, Royal said: “The player I talk to the most is Ansu Fati, I talk to him a lot, he’s a friend I have in Barcelona, and I hope everything goes well for him.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Personally, I’m quite enjoying seeing Barcelona struggle after the way they operated during the summer and how they reportedly treat some of their players, but that’s just me. It’s perfectly understandable that Emerson Royal would still hold some affection for his former club, and it’s nice to know he still speaks to some players there.

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