Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side went into Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace in an excellent run of form, winning three and drawing two of the 52-year-old manager’s five league fixtures in charge of the club.
And, goals from Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son ensured that this unbeaten run would be extended to six league fixtures, with Spurs running out comfortable 3-0 winners against Patrick Vieira’s Palace side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, although all three goalscorers did indeed impress on Sunday afternoon, it was undoubtedly right-back Emerson Royal who stole the show for Conte’s side in the Premier League clash.
Having made a £22.5m move from Barcelona to Tottenham this summer, Emerson’s career in England did not exactly get off to the best of starts, with Kieron Dyer stating of the defender back in October: “Tottenham had [Kieran] Trippier and Kyle Walker as right-backs. The right-back they recruited, Royal, [he’s] miles off it, for me personally, miles off it.”
However, the £22.5m-rated man was anything but off the pace against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the right-back turning in a performance of the highest quality in Spurs’ 3-0 win.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £62k-per-week Brazil international enjoyed 88 touches of the ball, completed 94% of his passes – four of which were key – found his man with two crosses and two long balls, and brilliantly set up Moura for Tottenham’s second of the game.
The defender was also incredibly solid at the back, making five tackles, two clearances and winning five duels, with these metrics seeing the 22-year-old receive a SofaScore match rating of 7.8 – bettered only by Moura and Son on the day.
Football.London reporter Alasdair Gold was also impressed with the returns of the right-back, awarding him a nine in his own player ratings, as well as stating of the youngster’s display:
“Struggled for quality early on with his passing but more than made up for it with first a weighted ball into Lucas’ path for the first goal for Kane and then perfectly stood up cross for his fellow Brazilian to power home Spurs’ second goal. Crossed for Lucas again late on only for his compatriot to fire over acrobatically. One of his best performances so far in a Spurs shirt.”
As such, while one swallow does certainly not make a summer, Emerson’s performance against Palace certainly proved many of the defender’s doubters wrong, as the 22-year-old was anything but “miles off it” on Sunday.