Tottenham Hotspur full-back Emerson Royal is being eyed behind the scenes by Atletico Madrid for a summer transfer.
Spurs signed the full-back from Barcelona last August in a deal worth €30m (£25.8m) on a five-year contract.
Throughout his debut season at the north London club, the Brazilian made 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring one goal and delivering one assist in the process.
In his 31 Premier League appearances, the 23-year-old ended up making more tackles (86) than any of his team-mates, also finishing in the top three for blocks (56), clearances (79) and successful pressures (126), as per FBRef.
Meanwhile, from an attacking point of view, only Heung-min Son (65) delivered more crosses than Royal (60). This highlights just how useful he can be up and down the pitch and why it would be terrible to lose him after just one season at the club.
Despite some question marks being raised over his ability to play in the Premier League at times last term, to get rid of him this summer without letting him have the chance to get a pre-season with Antonio Conte and show what he can do in the 2022/23 campaign would be a very bad look for the club.
Should the player join Atletico and become a pivotal figure for them, there could be some regret from Tottenham, while it would leave them weaker in that area of the squad.
Also, with Diego Simeone’s side having previously lured one of Spurs’ full-backs in the shape of Kieran Trippier in 2019, there would surely be some Spurs fans who wouldn’t want to see lightning strike twice in that regard.
There should be no thoughts from anyone at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium about letting Royal go this summer, and they will surely consider the interest from Atletico as terrible news.
Given his young age and the path that Conte could now make for him in terms of improving his game and being better suited to playing in England at a high level, the 23-year-old could be an exciting prospect for the Lilywhites to have in their ranks for the foreseeable future.