Juventus have finally made two summer signings in the form of Ángel Di María and Paul Pogba, bolstering the attack and midfield, respectively. However, the defence is yet to be reinforced, especially with the possibility of Matthijs de Ligt leaving the club and Leonardo Bonucci aged 35. So, the centre-back area needs strengthening, but so does the right-back position. Juan Cuadrado is 34, and Danilo will turn 31 by the end of July. A young right-back for the long term is needed. One option is Tottenham Hotspur’s Emerson Royal.
Emerson played 41 games for Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions last season, which included 31 in the Premier League. He scored one goal and assisted once during his time on the pitch, which lasted for 2,286 minutes. He fired off less than 0.5 shots per 90 but generated a respectable 0.163 xG per shot, the latter putting him in the upper quartile. The Brazilian registered 1.8 touches in the opposition’s penalty area, good enough for the top 8% of defenders. He attempted over two dribbles per 90, of which 73% were successful. He competed in 5.7 offensive duels per 90 and 5.9 attacking actions per 90.
Emerson provided one assist, but xA suggested that he should have had two last season. His xA of 0.1 per 90 put him in the top 15% of defenders. He participated fairly frequently in the build-up play of Spurs, attempting over 43 passes per 90, although his pass accuracy of 82% placed him in the bottom half of defenders. The 23-year-old right-back delivered three crosses per 90, which ranked him in the 87th percentile. He also generated 0.77 shot assists per 90 and 0.44 smart passes per 90, ranking him in the upper quintile of both categories.
As the heat map above shows, Emerson was a highly busy player on the right side of the field for Tottenham, having played as a right-back in a back four and as a right wing-back further up the pitch under Antonio Conte. He accomplished 3.19 progressive passes per 90, 1.06 penalty area passes per 90, 1.02 key passes per 90, 4.96 progressive carries per 90 as well as 1.38 carries into the final third per 90.
A great bulk of Emerson’s victorious duels came via ground-based defence. He won much fewer 50/50s and aerial duels than centre-backs, but as a right-back, he is not expected to win many aerial duels. Emerson won the majority of his ground-based duels in the defensive third and midfield areas. Off the ball, the Brazilian worked diligently, attempting 19.7 pressures per 90, 4.76 tackles and interceptions per 90, 3.11 clearances per 90, and 2.2 blocks per 90.
Emerson Royal had a strong debut season at Tottenham Hotspur. As per Transfermarkt, his market value is €25 million. However, if Juventus are to sign the Brazilian full-back, they may have to pay more than that to acquire his services.