Pundit hints new Spurs signing could have unexpected role under Nuno

Emerson Royal
Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Noel Whelan has claimed that he can see Nuno Espirito Santo employing Emerson Royal as a right-winger rather than as a right-back.

Tottenham managed to snap up Emerson from Barcelona on transfer deadline day, with the Brazilian coming to the club on the back of two impressive campaigns for Real Betis.

The 22-year-old demonstrated during his time at the Estadio Benito Villamarin that he has the athleticism and engine to get up and down the pitch through the ninety minutes.

It will certainly be interesting to see what role he has to play at Tottenham, with Nuno seemingly adopting a lopsided back four in his first three Premier League games in charge at Spurs, with Japhet Tanganga playing a more defensive role at right-back than Sergio Reguilon, who has been given more freedom to bomb forward.

Whelan insisted that Nuno may well be looking at the Brazilian as an option further up the pitch, given the other right-back options he has at his disposal.

When asked about Tottenham’s capture of Emerson, the former Leeds United striker told Football Insider: “I’m not really surprised they have gone in for another right-back.

“Tanganga can play on the right of a back three as well as at full-back. You’ve got to have options, and they have competitions for places there now.

“They have still got Doherty who had a decent game against Portugal the other night as well.

“You could probably push Emerson further up the field if needs be. I don’t think he’d look out of position at right wing.

“Nuno Espirito Santos is building his own team and I think that’s vitally important. He needs to bring in his own players to improve the squad.

“They look really strong and it’s been an exciting start to the season. Right now, it’s a question of whether these new players can maintain that.

“If they can, they have got a hell of a chance of getting into the Champions League spots.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I do not believe Nuno is likely to use Emerson as a right-winger. The Spurs boss probably views him as an ideal option to play as a right-wing-back in a back five. However, the Brazilian is also defensively sound enough to play as a right-back in a back four.

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