Mikel Arteta was reportedly ‘unconvinced’ about signing former FC Barcelona defender Emerson Royal in the summer window.
According to the Athletic, the Arsenal manager didn’t want to sign the Brazilian right-back due to issues on how Emerson would fit in the Gunners’ system. Instead, Arteta pushed the club to sign Takehiro Tomiyasu, who joined on deadline day.
And early days seem to suggest that the decision was a good one from Arteta. Emerson joined Tottenham, with the defender losing 3-0 to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace side. Tomiyasu, meanwhile, impressed in Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Norwich City.
As per the report, Arsenal were somewhat close to signing Emerson. The Gunners were in advanced talks with Barcelona over the defender, with Hector Bellerin potentially being involved in the deal.
But as we know, Bellerin joined boyhood club Real Betis on loan for the season.
Insider’s View: Arteta made the right choice pushing for Tomiyasu over Emerson
A right-back was a key area for Arsenal to strengthen over the summer. And in Tomiyasu, the Gunners managed just that by signing a player who keeps in line with what Arteta’s transfer strategy was this year.
The Japanese international’s debut was impressive and won over Arsenal fans in an instant. And the defender’s style of play perfectly complements what the Gunners were looking for in a right-back.
Indeed, Tomiyasu’s defensive work rate will allow Kieran Tierney to bomb up the pitch without having to worry too much about what happens at the back. And had Arsenal signed Emerson, this system simply would not have worked.