It is no secret at this point that Arsenal and Hector Bellerin are keen on parting ways at the end of this season. The Spaniard wants a new challenge elsewhere and the Gunners want to move on as well.
Bellerin has been an amazing servant for our football club. Yes, he never quite lived up to his initial potential, but he still remained loyal and did a lot for us, both on and off the pitch over the last decade.
Arsenal will have to replace him with someone much better. Multiple names have been thrown around in the media, but none more interesting than Barcelona star Emerson Royal.
Mundo Deportivo revealed recently that the Gunners are closely monitoring the situation of the Real Betis man who will join Barcelona on a permanent deal this summer. The Catalans, however, don’t need him, which makes it likely that he will be on the market.
Goal have revealed that Barca are looking for a fee in the region of £23 million as a part of that money will go Betis’ way. That is an expensive sum for a right-back, but it could well be worth it if he’s a big upgrade on Bellerin.
Hector Bellerin vs Emerson Royal
In 25 appearances in the Premier League this season, Bellerin averages 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.3 clearances per game. Those aren’t great defensive numbers, and Arsenal should be wary of that when we’re looking at a new right-back.
Offensively, Bellerin has one goal and two assists to his name this season. He averages 0.8 key passes, 0.5 crosses and 0.7 long balls per game, which aren’t great either, which is surprising as he is capable of a lot more. It’s safe to say that the Spaniard has had a really poor season. (WhoScored)
Emerson, on the other hand, is head and shoulders above Bellerin when it comes to defensive numbers.
The Brazilian averages 2.7 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 2.6 clearances per game. He also wins 1.8 aerial duels per 90 minutes which is considerably superior to Bellerin’s 1.2, and that is a very good trait to have in the Premier League.
Emerson’s offensive numbers aren’t really mind-blowing, but he has still managed to fare better than Bellerin. He has directly contributed to five goals and averages 1 key pass, 0.7 crosses and 1.2 long balls per game – all superior to the Arsenal man. (WhoScored)
If statistics are anything to go by, Emerson will be a massive upgrade to Bellerin. The Brazilian is four years younger as well, and the fact that he is almost twice as good as the Spaniard when he’s defending is a huge bonus.
Arsenal are desperate to have a right-back of the same level as Kieran Tierney on the other side. Emerson might not be there just yet, but his excellent defensive qualities will provide a much better balance to the side.
£23 million is a lot of money for a right-back, but we spent about the same on Tierney and look how well that has turned out. With no other really good right-backs available on the market, Emerson could well be our best bet, and it wouldn’t be a bad move at all.