There is a growing problem around Hotspur Way, although it is a problem every manager loves to have… too much depth in one position!
Currently, Tottenham have three out-and-out right-wing backs – new signing Djed Spence, Matt Doherty, and Emerson Royal.
On top of that, it seems like Antonio Conte is also considering Lucas Moura for the position, based on the fact he used the Brazilian in that position in each game so far this pre-season.
Antonio Conte has also used Dejan Kulusevski to fill in at right-wing-back at times, so, suffice to say, Spurs have plenty of cover in that area of the pitch.
Tottenham can and should sell one of their current three right-wing backs before the transfer window slams shut, thus guaranteeing the remaining options a realistic chance of minutes on the pitch.
So, who goes? Clearly not Djed Spence as he just joined the club this summer. So it’s down to Doherty and Emerson in terms of the out-and-out right-wing-back options. I can’t see Lucas Moura being sacrificed as he covers so many different roles in this squad.
But who should go? The answer should be obvious. One has proved to be one of the best attacking wing-backs in the league, and the other has hardly been able to complete a cross.
It’s not entirely Emerson Royal’s fault. The young Brazilian was signed to be up and coming full-back who was solid defensively but had room to grow offensively.
Unfortunately, Nuno Espirito Santos’ swift sacking, Antonio Conte’s arrival, and the subsequent switch to a back five, ruthlessly exposed Emerson’s shortcomings while also minimising his strengths.
The 23-year-old has shown his defensive prowess in a handful of games, most notably against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal… games in which Spurs had to defend for large periods.
But still, Paratici and Conte should be confident in the Irish alternative Matt Doherty and his ability to both defend and contribute in the attacking third when it matters… particularly after he had such a strong end to the campaign before his injury.
Matt Doherty and Djed Spence offer the club a good blend of experience and promise. This is more than good enough for the upcoming season and undoubtedly strengthens our options from last year.
Having said that, I still wish Emerson Royal all the best. He looks like he could become a great player, but because he is more suited to a flat back four and will fetch a decent price this summer, he has to be the one to make way.
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