The Athletic have revealed that Arsenal expected Tottenham Hotspur to snap up Takehiro Tomiyasu last summer but Spurs opted to sign Emerson Royal over the Japanese international.
Tomiyasu was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham throughout last summer’s transfer window, with the deal reported to be very close to completion at certain points (Corriere di Bologna via SportWitness).
However, Spurs ended up signing Emerson from Barcelona instead, with reports indicating at the time that the Brazilian rejected Arsenal’s advances in favour of a move to their North London rivals (Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol).
Emerson has struggled to adapt to the demands of Antonio Conte’s system since the Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm back in November while Tomiyasu has had a promising start to his career at Arsenal.
The Athletic have now revealed that the Gunners explored the possibility of signing Emerson this summer, with the club even being prepared to offer Hector Bellerin to Barcelona in a swap deal for the 23-year-old.
It is explained that Spurs had tracked Tomiyasu for a long time and some at Arsenal believed the former Bologna man was bound for N17.
However, it is asserted that Tottenham opted to sign Emerson instead since the club viewed the former Real Betis man as being a better fit for Nuno’s system.
MORE SPURS STORIES
Spurs Web Opinion
I do not think Spurs choosing to sign Emerson over Tomiyasu was a big error even though the two players have had contrasting first seasons in the Premier League.
The problem with Emerson is that he does not offer enough going forward to play as a wing-back. The same can be said of Tomiyasu, who is more of a right-sided centre-back than a right-back or a wing-back.