Former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves has suggested that Emerson Royal would not have been able to provide the kind of delivery which saw Pedro Porro help Tottenham Hotspur break the deadlock against Nottingham Forest.
Spurs boss Antonio Conte admitted during Friday’s pre-match press conference that Royal has sustained a knock during the week and would be assessed to see if he would be fit enough to at least be on the bench (Football.London).
His place in the starting eleven was taken to Porro, who joined the north Londoners on the final day of the transfer window from Sporting Lisbon.
Porro produced a pin-point cross into the Forest penalty area onto the head of Harry Kane who wrongfooted Kelor Navas with his effort to put the ball back across him into the corner of the net.
Hargreaves was also impressed with the work rate of Richarlison who played a key role in the build-up to Kane’s first goal and thought he had opened the scoring inside the first three minutes only for VAR to rule him offside.
He told MatchDay Extra on Premier League Productions (11/03/23 at 8:30 pm):“Richarlison gave this team so much, he was involved in the build-up.
“With Porro, you know, Royal can’t play that ball. But that header from Harry Kane, that’s why he scores 200+ goals.
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“He knows exactly where the ball is coming from and where he wants to score it. He makes scoring look easy.”
Porro experienced a tough start to life at Tottenham having had a game to forget during the 4-1 defeat at Leicester City, however, has certainly showed the attacking value he can bring in his last two outings against AC Milan and Forest.
Richarlison may still be waiting for his first Premier League goal since joining Spurs but did show a significantly improved performance compared to what was witnessed in the FA Cup exit at Sheffield United.
Tottenham were up against a very average Forest side at the weekend and were given the space to create opportunities out wide for the likes of Porro to show his quality.
Antonio Conte now faces a selection dilemma of whether to stick with Porro, or to recall Royal when his side make the trip to the south coast to face Southampton at the weekend.