Pundit urges Spurs to sell £22.5m defensive flop

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Despite only arriving from Barcelona last summer, full-back Emerson Royal has struggled to establish himself as a Tottenham Hotspur first-team regular.

A string of poor performances has seen the 23-year-old Brazilian lose his place to backup right-back Matt Doherty.

Although former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been hugely critical of Doherty, Royal has not escaped the punditry wrath.

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Addressing concerns over Royal’s opening campaign for the Lilywhites, former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips, who spoke to Football Insider, has urged chairman Daniel Levy to cut his losses as soon as this summer’s transfer window opens.

“I think they will [sell Royal],” Phillips said.

“I don’t think Conte or Tottenham have got time to wait to see if he can adjust. Conte will want to rebuild, he’ll want his own players in there.

“If that means selling Royal to free up a wage so he can get someone else in, I think that will happen.

“The board really have to back Conte if that’s his decision. He’s really struggled at Tottenham.

“They could wait for another season to see if he can turn things around. I’m sure the manager will want to bite the bullet and get rid, 100%.”

Royal arrived from Barcelona last summer in a deal worth £22.5m but after struggling to impress on the pitch, the South American could now find himself sent back to La Liga with Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in a £20m transfer.

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