Arsenal entered into advanced talks over swap deal but Arteta was unsure about the transfer

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Arsenal reportedly held advanced talks with Barcelona this summer over a transfer that would have seen Hector Bellerin and Emerson Royal swap places.

However, the deal stalled as Gunners manager Mikel Arteta was unsure about how Emerson, who moved to Tottenham instead, would fit into his style of play, according to The Athletic.

This led to Arsenal signing Takehiro Tomiyasu instead, while Bellerin ended up leaving the Emirates Stadium for a loan move to Real Betis.

Tomiyasu made a strong start for Arsenal on his debut against Norwich City this weekend, while Emerson did not have the best start to his Spurs career as he played in their surprise 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace.

Emerson Royal was a target for Arsenal but ended up leaving Barcelona for Tottenham

Emerson looks the more attack-minded full-back, but Arteta seemed to think Tomiyasu’s strong defensive play made him a better fit for the kind of team he’s trying to put together.

For now, that perhaps looks like the right move, but Arsenal fans will not be happy if Emerson ends up having the better season and proving a major signing to strengthen their north London rivals.

More Stories Emerson Royal Hector Bellerin Mikel Arteta Takehiro Tomiyasu


  1. I think that Emerson will work out for the Spuds, he’s a good player. Not particularly exciting going forward, but defensively very sound. Would have been my joint first choice for Arsenal with Mazraoui. He just has to learn not to get too close to some of the better PL attackers, though; they’ll spin him like a top. Tomiyasu suits both a gap in Arsenal’s squad (someone defensively competent at right back) and Arteta’s plans (someone who can quickly morph from a defensively minded, inverted right back, tucking in with the midfield, into the right side of a back three). Early days, but he looks an excellent pick up.

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